Published: November 25, 2010
Burnham MP calls for re-think on 'bonkers' village green law

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week backed calls for a change in the law that lets groups of people apply to turn land into village greens, thereby protecting them from development.

She says hundreds of people across the UK - including a group of residents on Burnham's Esplanade - have been making use of the Commons Act 2006, which states that anyone can have land registered as a town or village green if it has been used by local people for recreation for at least 20 years.

Tessa Munt says she wants the law redrafted, explaining: "The current law is absolutely bonkers. In Bristol and other areas, people have been applying for village green status on bits of land that are clearly not village greens."

"The law is being abused and not used as it was intended. The bid for town green status on land outside Bristol, where Bristol City wants to build a stadium, is just one example."

"It also tells us that we ought to legislate with a bit more thought about what the impact of legislation can be."

The Commons Act 2006 (Section 15, paragraph 2) outlines how village green status can be applied for.

Burnham-On-Sea.com first reported earlier this month that over a dozen letters of objection had been sent to Somerset County Council opposing the controversial proposals to convert Burnham-On-Sea's seafront lawns (pictured) into an official Village Green by the end of the consultation period. The district and town council have also expressed their concerns about the proposals on Burnham seafront.

Residents say they simply want to protect the lawns from development for future generations and see them continue to be used for family recreation.



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