Information

2017 Update- Village Greens

Important news about village green applications.

 

 On 5 May 2017 Stafford County Council placed a Notice of Landowner Deposits on The Green, Repton Drive and Winchester Green, Winchester Drive. In reponse WSCRA wrote to the Landowner, Newcastle Borough Council, asking the reason for this notice.

NULBC replied on 17 May as follows:-

On Wednesday, 17 May 2017, 16:48, "Clifton, Neale" < This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. > wrote:

 

[Classification: NULBC UNCLASSIFIED]

 

Dear Ms Cheadle – I write with reference to your email below which John Sellgren has asked me to respond to.

 

My understanding is that the County Council has posted the site notice(s) (on this and other similar sites) to draw the attention of interested parties to the recent submission by the Borough Council of a "Landowner Statement".  The County Council have put the notices up as they are legally obliged to do so as the responsible body for determining Village Green Applications (VGAs) in our administrative area.  

 

As you are aware the above site is subject to a Village Green Application which is currently with the County Council for determination (along with a number of others). As part of the Borough Council’s ongoing asset management responsibilities we recently reviewed these sites to get a better understanding of the VGA process, including the likely timescales for determinations and to consider our obligations as a Council.  We took legal advice and we understand that the County Council alone decide when the determination of the VGAs will take place and there is no legal deadline for such applications.  Indeed indications are that it is unlikely that any of the Borough Council-owned sites will be processed in the foreseeable future. 

 

Although it would not affect the processing of any of these VGAs, we were advised that we should make "Landowner Statements" to protect our interests once the applications have been determined by the County Council.  As a responsible authority we acted on that advice hence the submission of the Landowner Statements and the posting of the site notices.

 

The advice we have received indicates that the submission of Landowner Statements is not in any way a process to undermine any VGA applications.  We believe it to be the case that once a VGA submission is accepted by Staffordshire County Council it is their responsibility to process it in accordance with strict legal guidelines and taking account of information known at the time of receipt. We are given to understand that no landowner, either public or private, can influence or interfere with this process other than to provide supporting information upon request by the County Council.   The “Landowner Statements” only takes effect at the end of the County Council’s decision making process i.e. when it has been decided whether the land parcel(s) qualify as a Village Green or not.

 

I can confirm that senior Cabinet Members have made it clear to officers that they are not to do any planning or development work on any VGA sites if and until the applications are determined by the County Council.  Indeed they rightly considered that it would be a complete waste of valuable resources and money to do so not least because it would seem likely that it will be a number of years before the outcome of the VGA process is known.  The status of the sites is effectively that they remain as they are until then.

 

Should you or your group’s members have any concerns about this matter I would advise that you contact the County Council directly (contact information provided on the site notices). If you require any further clarification of the Council’s position in this matter then please contact Louise Beeby via email in the first instance – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Regards,

 

Neale Clifton 
Executive Director - Regeneration & Development 
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council 
01782 742400

www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk