Agenda and minutes

Commons and Rights of Way Committee
Wednesday 13 April 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Items
No. Item

10.

Public Questions on Application(s)

To answer any written or public questions about the application(s) before the Committee at this meeting.  The closing date /time for the receipt of questions

is 10 am on 6 April 2016 .

 

With the consent of the Chairperson, to answer any oral question(s) on the application(s) before the Committee at this meeting put by members of the public, where notice of such has been given by the Chief Executive (or their representative) by 9.30 am on 13 April 2016.

 

Depending on the nature of the oral questions asked it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No questions were received from the public on applications before the Committee.

11.

Members Questions on Application(s) pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To answer any written members’ questions on the application(s) before Committee at the meeting. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10 am on 6 April 2016.

 

Minutes:

11.1    A written question from Cllr Lydon had been received.  A copy of the question and answer had been published on the Council’s website and circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting.  The information was taken ‘as read’ at the meeting.

 

11.2    Cllr Lydon, County Councillor for Dursley, asked a supplementary question at the meeting.      In summary, he referred to the written response to his question and commented that it had indicated that the landholding by the county was of minimal interest.  He pointed out however that it had been estimated that the land with planning permission could be worth approximately £1M. He suggested that looking to the future, for cases with similar land ownership factors, the whole decision making process should be examined. He stressed that the Committee, because of the overwhelming evidence presented to the inspector over the period of the hearing, and because of the vested interest of the Council, should reject the inspector’s recommendation and grant the village green application.

 

11.3    He asked if the County Council would learn from this situation.  He indicated that from a public perspective the process was tainted as the Council stood to gain a pecuniary advantage from the sale of County Council land adjacent to Leonard Stanley Primary School.

 

11.4    In response Carrie Denness, Principal Lawyer, referred to the written response to Cllr Lydon’s question which made it clear that the Commons Registration Authority in preparing the Commons and Rights of Way committee report had not taken into consideration any irrelevant facts (i.e. land ownership or planning issues) in coming to its recommendation.  A town and village green application could only be determined by way of statutory test as set out in Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006. Each element of the test had to be met for an application to be approved. 

 

11.5    The Principal Lawyer emphasised the point that it was never concealed that the County Council owned part of the land which was subject to the application;  the land ownership and registration authority dealings with the matter had been kept separate throughout the application process. The Commons Registration Authority was a stand alone body to the County Council and therefore could not take into account any benefit or loss the County Council may obtain in respect of determining an application for a town or village green given that an application was solely subject to the statutory test set out in the Commons Act 2006.

 

11.6    Dealing with an application where the County Council had an interest in the land by way of independent inquiry was considered standard procedure; however, the Commons Registration Authority could consider delegating its authority to determine applications where it had a land interest to another Commons Registration Authority if considered appropriate to do so.

12.

Application for the registration of land known as "Mankley Field", off Dozule Close, Leonard Stanley, Stroud, Gloucestershire as a town or village green under Section 15(2) or 15(3) Of The Commons Act 2006 pdf icon PDF 349 KB

To consider the attached report of the Head of Legal Services.

 

 

Please note – Exempt Information: Part of Appendix 2 (Spreadsheet of Use of Application Land) of this report contains exempt information. If the Committee wishes to discuss this part of the Appendix consideration must first be given to whether the public should be excluded from the meeting by passing the following resolution: -

 

In accordance with Regulation 4(2)(b) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the public to be excluded from the meeting for this item of business because it is likely that, if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 A to the Act, and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

12.1    Carrie Denness, Principal Lawyer, presented the report on the application to register land known as ‘Mankley Field’, off Dozule Close, Leonard Stanley, Stroud, Gloucestershire, as a new town or village green. (For information – A copy of the slides is included in the signed minute book and has been uploaded onto the Council’s website).

 

12.2    During a detailed introduction the Principal Lawyer highlighted that the application before the Committee primarily failed on the Neighbourhood Test.  The claimed neighbourhood was made up of large parts of the residential curtilage of two parishes.  The inspector did not see or hear evidence that was considered sufficient to demonstrate on the balance of probabilities that there were factors that caused cohesion, that cause the claimed neighbourhood to be a united whole.

 

12.3    The Committee noted the findings of the Inspector following the non-statutory Inquiry held on 7-10 December 2015 and which resumed  and concluded on 16 December 2015.

 

12.4    A member referred to the issue of cohesiveness of the two settlements and questioned whether the Co-Op shop in King’s Stanley, which also served those living in Leonard Stanley, had been there for the cumulative application period of 20 years. With permission from the Chair Cllr Lydon confirmed that a convenience store (not always the Co-op) had been there for the 20 year period and there were also other shops there too.

 

12.5    In response to a question, the Principal Lawyer confirmed that the planning application for the residential development at ‘Mankley Field’ was received by Stroud District Council in June 2013; permission was refused by Stroud District Council later that year.  An appeal heard in July 2014 by the Planning Inspectorate overturned the District Council’s decision and planning permission for the residential development was granted.  The application for planning permission made in June 2013 post-dated the 13 May 2013 application to the Commons Registration Authority to register the land as a village green.  Had the planning application pre-dated the town and village green application then this would have resulted in a ‘trigger’ event stymying the town and village green application being considered at that time.

 

12.6    In response to a question from a member on the use of the application land for grazing livestock and growing/harvesting of crops, the Principal Lawyer confirmed that the whole of the application land was used for such purposes at different times and that the land was not sectioned off in respect of their different ownerships. The Godsells, the substantive landowners of the application land, used the whole of the land for agricultural purposes as they rented the remaining two sections of the application land from the other two owners, Basilica Limited and the County Council.

 

12.7    The Chair on behalf of the Committee, expressed thanks to the Principal Lawyer for her detailed presentation of the Committee report.

 

12.8    Having considered the information before it including the Inspector’s recommendation, the Committee

 

Resolved

 

That the Application dated 13 May 2013 made by Mankley Field Action  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Public Questions -

To answer any written or public questions about the matters, which are within the powers and duties of the Committee.

The closing date /time for the receipt of questions is 10 am 6 April 2016.

 

To answer any oral question(s) put by members of the public, subject to any question having been registered by 9.30 am on 13 April 2016.

 

Depending on the nature of the oral questions asked it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.

Minutes:

No questions had been received from members of the public.

 

14.

Members' Questions -

To answer any written members’ questions. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10 am on 6 April 2016.

Minutes:

No questions had been received from Members.