Question asked at HBAMP on 3 January 2012
I am very concerned that Members are mistakenly believing that the ongoing village green application requires that a number of activities on and around the Downs at Herne Bay must be deferred until the outcome of the application is known. None of the Items in the QE2 Coastal Park Action Plan that are being deferred pending the outcome of the village green application actually need to be deferred for that reason.
A couple of examples:
- Why should Community Cleanups on the application land over the coming months (Item 2.3) be affected in any way by the outcome of the application?
- Why should the outcome of the application have any effect on the clearance of the channel at Bishopstone Glen (Item 3.8)? The Glen is entirely outside the application area – the bridge across the Glen is ¼ kilometre west of the application land.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Field — Herne Bay Coastal Park puts the Downs into a legal trust that Fields in Trust states “protects forever the land for leisure and recreation”. As this is a consultation report we are seeking feedback on the proposal.
As the Downs Village Green application is still ongoing it is not appropriate to discuss the legal issues relating to it. It is worthy of note that the implications of a successful village green application are not part of the decision making process.
One result of a successful Village Green application is that enhancements that take place between the date of the application and the final decision may be at risk of being removed once the application is decided, particularly if they breach the Victorian statutes that govern village green land.
Fields in Trust will not consider any external funding application until the village green application is resolved.
This means that many potential projects on the Downs are on hold due to the application for village green status. With regards to the two examples given:
- The existing community clean ups can continue, but we cannot access the funding to obtain extra equipment specifically for the community group.
- The clearance of the channel at Bishopstone Glen can proceed because it is outside the Downs Village Green application area, thank you for the feedback.