27 September 2010

'Village green' scammers succeed in their biggest con-trick yet

The City of Bristol's proud regeneration plans, including one of the modern stadiums for England's football World Cup bid, lie in ruins.

Democratic, transparent and fully accountable, this proposed regeneration scheme had already achieved the necessary planning permission.  This is no mean feat.

But then a few unaccountable activists, wanting to preserve 'their' views (and their nice middle-class house prices) resorted to the now familiar tactic of claiming that somebody else's privately-owned property is a 'village green'.  By doing so, they have caused utter chaos and halted the local regeneration.

The damage to jobs and the hard-pressed local economy by the claim in this case is estimated at from £90 million to £300 million, according to whose calculation you prefer.

Here are a few key issues highlighted by this latest perversion of the village green laws of England.  The so-called 'village green' in question here is:
  • 42 acres.  Many complete villages in England don't amount to 42 acres in area, never mind their local (ancient and genuine) village green.
  • Going to be registered (as things currently stand) on the basis of only 22 people who gave verbal statements about the 'village green' claim.
  • Recommended for registration as a 'village green' despite the people who gave verbal statements not being placed under oath or any similar warning.
  • Supported by the non-statutory 'independent'  inspector in this case, Ms Ross Crail.  Ms Crail acted in support of the Ramblers Association in their most prominent recent case.  Among other things, the Ramblers Association promotes public access to privately-owned property.


  1. All correct. Is there anything we can do about it?
    We have all written to our mp's and councillors, signed up to petitions and there are over 10,000 people on our Facebook page.

  2. Stop the actinides succeeding in their perversion of ancient laws sign the petition. http://epetitions.bristol.gov.uk/epetition_core/community/petition/1094

  3. Steve Mac (Blog Editor)27 September 2010 at 20:27

    Not entirely sure what Anon means by 'Actinides' in his/her 27/09/10 20:11 comment. An actinide is usually considered to be elements 90 (thorium) through 103 (lawrencium). Otherwise, actinides are elements defined according to their common properties.
    So if 'Anon' actually meant some other word, could s/he please let us know ASAP. TIA

  4. Please let me make certain that I understand what has happened here.
    Thousands of local people want the stadium and the regeneration.
    The democratically elected council wants the stadium and the regeneration.
    The landowner wants the stadium and the regeneration.
    But some dog walkers have gone onto the person's land, as trespassers, so their dogs can c**p on that person's property. Then some inspector or other says that claims of suchlike activities make the property a village green.
    The owner's property is effectively confiscated.
    Sorry, but this is not the England that I was born into.

  5. sorry * activist s * iPhone spell checker is a gift and a burden sometimes.

  6. Someone should mention how much their houses will rocket being so close to such a venue...I wonder if they'd soon change then.This is such bad playground behaviour. I say stick a load of travellers on there then ask how they want to play.