Village green bid tabled by residents

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RESIDENTS opposing plans to build hundreds of houses on open land in Cramlington are looking to halt progress by getting the site classified as a village green.

Residents formed the protest group Cramlington SOS (Save Our Space) to oppose the development, on land to the north of Station Road, in March.

Now the group has applied to secure village green status, a move it hopes will halt plans by Persimmon and Bellway Homes to build up to 600 houses.

Group founder Pat Heard this week joined Cramlington SOS member Hazel Sisterson to hand over the application for Village Green Registration to Northumberland County Council in Morpeth.

She said: “The application was prepared by a specialist sub-group operating within Cramlington SOS, called Friends of Cramlington Village Green who received expert advice from the Open Spaces Society and others including ornithological and historical surveys all of which were well supported by detailed evidence of use of the land by almost 600 local residents covering a 20-year time frame.

“It’s amazing, in about three months a suggestion has gone from an ‘idea’ through all the stages of research, planning, evidence collection and analysis to the high quality and substantial application that has been submitted.

“I want to thank everyone for all their hard work – I have to say it looks fantastic.

“Everyone, from those who delivered and collected leaflets and forms, filled in forms and those who have put their time and effort into this project should be proud.

“Now we just have to wait and trust we get the result we deserve and are all hoping for.”

The council’s legal team will now check the application against a defined set of criteria, but the SOS group is confident the application surpasses these requirements.

Ms Heard added: “We hope the town council and county councillors now get behind the application with their support.

“Cramlington has grown into one of the largest towns in Northumberland and the proposed village green will provide an essential protected area for residents to continue with their sports and pastimes along with a much needed and valued sanctuary and corridor for both flora and fauna.”