Many moons ago, we had the public inquiry. Some months later, we got the Inspector’s report – she recommended that about 85% of the Downs should be registered as a village green.
We responded to her report saying that the 15% she had excluded was actually eligible for registration, due to subtle legal technicalities.
Canterbury City Council responded to her report by commissioning two barristers to write a report saying that none of the Downs should be registered (no surprise there!), and saying that the Inspector was mistaken on several points of law.
Kent County Council, who have to make the final decision, felt that they were still out of their depth on this one, and needed further legal advice. In the normal course of events, it would be original Inspector that they would turn to, but she has since become a judge and is unavailable.
So KCC had to call in yet another barrister to review the submissions from ourselves and CCC. The report from this latest barrister suggests that only about 5% of the Downs should be registered.
We believe that the reasoning behind this latest report is fundamentally flawed. We believe the whole of the Downs should be registered as a village green, and we will carry on fighting. Of course.