Residents win fight to save their "village green" from development (From Clacton and Frinton Gazette)
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Residents win fight to save their "village green" from development
12:00pm Saturday 22nd September 2012 in News
RESIDENTS are celebrating after winning a five-year campaign to have an under threat open space listed as a village green.
People living in Brighton Road had already fought off two applications for housing on the land when plans were submitted for the site to be used as a new surgery.
Residents formed the Save Our Spaces campaign to have the site protected as a village green.
Tendring Council had declared the land surplus to requirements paving the way for development, but a planning inspector has now agreed to the application following a public inquiry.
Brighton Road resident Sharon Bennett, who led the campaign, said: “We are overjoyed. We started working on this in about 2007 and the application has taken four years.
“It is used by so many people for all sorts of activities, dog walking, kite flying, picnic and children playing football.
“The site has been widely used forever and has been since before the council ever owned it – it has never been surplus to requirements.
“It was entirely the wrong place for a surgery. People wanted it more centrally based in Holland, not all the way down in Brighton Road.
“People have said we were stopping the health centre and have accused us of nimbyism, but the village green site and the surgery site are two separate issues.
“Of course we want to keep our nice views, but this is also for people to use in the future.”
John Henry, assistant director of estates at NHS North Essex, said: “Our proposals for the reprovision of GP services in the Great Clacton and Holland-on-Sea area on the site in Brighton Road had the backing of the vast majority of local residents when we conducted an extensive public consultation.
“It is therefore disappointing to see this proposal is no longer viable.
“We now need to review options and we will look at any sites which might be suitable for building a new surgery with adequate car-parking.
“Such sites, as we know from past experience, are not plentiful but we will be working closely with Tendring Council to try and identify appropriate sites.”