Help us establish legal precedence for Village Green status for this case and all future cases!
Please donate and share our campaign now!
We started our fight for a Village Green in 2015 and despite several set-backs we are still fighting!
Your donation will help us to win a high court case that would:
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To get more details contact us at: Limmerhill.VG@BTinternet.com
A lot has happened since we first made the Village Green application in May 2015.
First, as a result of an objection from the then new owner of the land (a London based property company), Wokingham Borough Council "WBC" ordered a public hearing.
In December 2016 a seven-day public hearing was held to discuss the legal merits of the application. Our barrister at the hearing was Dr Ashley Bowes of Cornerstone Barristers, who is a specialist in Village Green applications.
Despite the fact that the land had been used substantially over the period required to qualify as a Village Green, it was argued by the other party at the hearing that most of the use had been "footpath use". We learnt later from Dr Bowes that this is a common legal ploy when trying to defeat Village Green applications. In our case this was particularly galling since these "footpaths" were all over the land and had never even existed until people used the land! Nevertheless, the Inspector directing the hearing decided to discount most of the use as footpath use (which meant it could not be counted as village green use!) and recommended to Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) that the application be refused.
In March 2018 WBC held a meeting to discuss the Inspector's findings and recommendation. The first part of the meeting started in public and a large group of local people gathered to hear the discussions. The majority of the Committee appeared sympathetic to our case but then they were all requested by the Chairman to withdraw to continue discussions in private and then vote. We learnt the following day from WBC that our application was rejected but very little explanation was given about why the vote went the way it did. Also, no official recording of the public meeting was made.
and now ...
This brings us up to the present day. We have not given up! We were advised by Dr Bowes that the manner in which the WBC Committee meeting was conducted was not legal. We have decided to take the WBC decision to judicial review with the aim of getting it quashed. If we are successful then WBC would be required to hold a new meeting, but fully in public this time and with the evidence of village green usage being properly discussed.
Our barristers are finalising their “skeleton” legal arguments which will be required for the next stage of the process.
We would like to thank everyone who has contributed funds to our case so far. As you see we are making good progress towards meeting our initial target by the end of this month.
The field has been used for many years by local residents as a recreational area. We are trying to obtain Village Green status for this area of outstanding natural beauty for us today and all families forever in the future. An amazing legacy for everyone.
As far as the law relating to common land is concerned, there does not need to be a "village" as such for a valid Village Green. Any piece of land which has been used by the local inhabitants for sports/pastimes can be registered by law as a Village Green, regardless of whether the land is owned or not. We can show community use, and that is key to our claim.
Contact us: limmerhill.VG@btinternet.com
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