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New laws to keep the public out of green spaces

June 27, 2013

 

OPEN SPACES SOCIETY

NEWS RELEASE

 

OPEN SPACES SOCIETY DISMAYED

AT NEW LAWS TO KEEP PUBLIC OUT OF GREEN SPACES

 

The Open Spaces Society(1) is dismayed about new laws to ban people from green spaces.  In its magazine Open Space, published today (25 June, see attached pdf), the society’s general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, writes of her concern (see opinion page 1).

 ‘Already kowtowing to developers, the government is now getting steamed up about alleged anti-social behaviour—at the expense of green space,’ she writes. 

The society is opposing clauses in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill which will enable local authorities to make ‘public spaces protection orders’, by which they can prohibit specific activities.  There is nothing to stop them from excluding the public altogether.  Breach of an order will be a criminal offence, so trespass there will become a crime. 

 Kate points out that the orders could affect registered commons and greens, as well as other open spaces and paths.  ‘There is no requirement on the authority to advertise the orders, nor to take notice of objections.  Those allowed to challenge such orders in the high court will be strictly limited.

 ‘The bill is vicious, high-handed and unnecessary,’ she says.

 The society points out that this bill, and the Growth and Infrastructure Act before it, threatens green spaces just at the time that Exeter University published research which shows the positive impact of urban green spaces on people’s wellbeing.

 Also in this issue of Open Space:

  • Newhaven Beach village green—win in Court of Appeal (page 2).
  • Profile of Alfred Leach from Wheeler End Common in Bucks (page 3).
  • Explanation of the effect of the Growth and Infrastructure Act on village greens (page 4).
  • How to protect your open spaces by applying for designation as Local Green Space or as a Community Asset (page 5)

ENDS

 Notes for editors

1.         The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is Britain’s oldest national conservation body.  It campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people’s right to enjoy them.

 

CONTACT:        Kate Ashbrook

 Kate Ashbrook

General Secretary

The Open Spaces Society

25a Bell Street

Henley-on-Thames RG9 2B

email: hq@oss.org.uk

website www.oss.org.uk

The Open Spaces Society is a registered charity (no 1144840) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 7846516).

 Visit our Flickr page and post

photos of your open spaces

 

Read my blog at http://campaignerkate.wordpress.com/

 

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