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
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
That the Application dated 13 May 2013 made by Mankley Field Action Group (‘The Applicant’) for the registration of an area of land known as ‘Mankley Field’ off Dozule Close, Leonard Stanley, Stroud, Gloucestershire (as shown edged red on the plan marked as Plan A attached to the Application at Appendix 1) as a town or village green pursuant to section 15(2) or 15(3) of the Commons Act 2006 be REJECTED for the reasons set out in the Inspector’s report dated 14 March 2016 attached at Appendix 2 of the report.