Save the Glebe Field Campaign

by admin on January 24, 2014

(Email: savetheglebefield(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

20th January 2014

Dear Glebe Field Village Green Supporter

We are writing to bring you up to date with our application to register the Glebe Field, Goudhurst, as a Village Green.  Firstly please accept our apologies for not being in touch for some time.

You may recall that we submitted our application to register the Glebe Field on 18th November 2011.  Following lengthy delays and correspondence the application was finally heard by the Kent County Council (KCC) Regulation Committee Member Panel on 24th September 2013.  We are very grateful for the support from those of you who attended the meeting which helped to show the Panel the strength of feeling over the Glebe Field. Despite what we believe to have been a robust and comprehensive application, the committee chose to adopt the recommendation that the matter be referred to a Public Inquiry.

We know that the Public Inquiry is likely to be held in Goudhurst during the week commencing 2nd June 2014 and may last several days.  There will also be a pre-Inquiry, which is not a public meeting, on Monday 27th January, for the parties to meet the Inspector and to discuss the process for the submission of evidence and the format of the Public Inquiry.

In the meantime you may have seen in the Parish Magazine that the Parish Council have agreed terms with the Diocese of Canterbury, as land owners, for a thirty year lease for both the upper and lower Glebe Fields.  Details, we understand, are now with the solicitors acting for the Diocese and Parish Council. We see this as complementary to the Village Green application as the lease will enable the Parish Council to take on the maintenance of the Glebe Field, which is very good news indeed.  However, the lease does not give the residents of Goudhurst the “in perpetuity” security of access that would be achieved by a Village Green, as the lease could be terminated by the Diocese or Parish Council.

We understand that the Diocese have appointed a barrister to represent them at the Inquiry.  Our committee has decided that whilst continuing to seek legal advice, we will not appoint a barrister to represent us.  Quite apart from the expense, we have never intended our application to be adversarial, though we accept this may reduce our chances of a successful outcome.  We would therefore welcome support from anyone who has significant legal knowledge in this field.

Finally, in order to keep everyone informed we will be arranging a public meeting in Goudhurst. This meeting will be in Goudhurst Parish Hall on Tuesday 18th March at 7:30pm. We do hope to see you there and meanwhile we take the opportunity of wishing you a very Happy New Year.

Ed Bates

On behalf of The Glebe Field Village Green Committee

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