Back in the Autumn of 2016 an application to register land known as Hythe Green (Kent) as a Town or Village Green, was made to Kent County Council. We now understand that a panel will convene seeking evidence from various parties and then deliberate with the aim of announcing a decision sometime in the Summer of 2019.
Under the Commons Act 2006, anyone may apply to the County Council for land to be registered as a Town or Village Green, but in order for land to qualify for registration it must be shown that ‘a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years’. For use of the land to have been ‘as of right’, it must have taken place without any force, secrecy or permission.
Hythe Town Green is an area of land of approximately 16.5 acres (6.7 hectares) in size, known locally as Hythe Green and situated immediately north of Hythe Bay Primary School, extending between its eastern boundary with St. Leonard’s Road and its western boundary with St. Nicholas Road, in the town of Hythe.
Now in Early 2016 who could forget our own Council, previously known as Shepway District Council, convened behind closed doorsto discuss the possibility of placing a leisure centre on the Hythe Green, but thankfully this, didn’t happen due to a covenant which precluded any building on the Green.
It was after the Council tried and failed to build their leisure centre on the Green, that the Hythe Green Preservation Society lodged their application for Village Green Status. A consultation opened
on the 21 Oct 2016 and closed on the 5 Dec 2016
We now understand from a variety of sources within Kent County Council that a panel will convene at the end of February, to hear evidence from various people and organisations. It will make no decision on the day. They will go away and consider what they hear and then after deliberation, hand down their decision sometime in the summer of this year, as we currently understand.
We hope that the bid is successful, as it will keep the sticky paws of Folkestone & Hythe District Council and Hythe Town Council off the land and keep it as a green and healthy lung for Hythe.
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And from my experience of a “Village Green” application; the Hythe Green Preservation Society will should be granted. However they do need to be prepared for any “opposition” at the Public Hearing.
Here’s a local example which might help with any preparations.