Campaigners hope to have won bid for village green status

Land to the north of Station Road which Cramlington SOS are hoping will be given village green status.
Land to the north of Station Road which Cramlington SOS are hoping will be given village green status.

Protestors fighting to save a piece of land from development say they are confident they have done enough in their bid to gain village green status.

A public inquiry took place last week into an application to turn land north of Station Road in Cramlington into a village green.

Residents near the park formed Cramlington Save Our Spaces (SOS) last year in a bid to protect the area from housing development being proposed by Persimmon and Bellway Homes, who own the land.

Cramlington SOS submitted the application for the land to be designated a village green, which would mean development could not take place.

And the inquiry into the campaign group’s application took place last week at Hepscott Hall in Morpeth.

Pat Heard, from Falmouth Walk, who helped set up the SOS group, said: “I think our witnesses gave a very good account of themselves, giving considerable evidence to support our use of the land over the past 20 years and more.

“We would like to thank them all for being willing to appear at the inquiry.

“Our team who put together the village green application has also run the inquiry for Cramlington SOS and have put in a tremendous amount of work and time – they are residents, with no legal training, just a wish, like us all, to see the land remain as open space for the enjoyment of all.

“Cramlington SOS management and fellow supporters are deeply indebted to them.

“We feel we have done enough to prove our use of the land, though clearly there are also points of law to be considered alongside this.”

Northumberland county councillor for Cramlington West, Barry Flux, added: “Cramlington SOS has given a very good account of themselves and can be very proud of their efforts.

“I have no doubt that it is the will of residents that this land is saved as a village green for Cramlington’s future generations.

“This is the town’s green lungs and needs to be saved.

“Residents have been using the land for recreation across successive generations and I hope this will be the case in years to come.

“I think the inquiry has gone well and I hope that this area is granted village green status.

“It would be a testament to the hard work undertaken by residents of Parkside, Westwood Grange and Station Road in the fight to save this land.”

A decision from the public inquiry inspector is expected to be made before March.