A local estate owner has had his application to remove the status of common land in the village of Ramsgill turned down. If the application had been successful, locals would have lost access to the village green.
James Briggs made application, dated 24 July 2015, is made under Schedule 2(7) of the Commons Act 2006 (“the 2006 Act”) to remove other land wrongly registered as common land.
Mr Briggs owns the land and it was registered as Common Land – he wanted stop people having access to it.
The matter had been subject to a hearing on 20 November 2018 at Northallerton County Hall, which locals from both Ramsgill and nearby Pateley Bridge had attended.
To read read the Application Decision Notice by the Planning Inspectorate.
Briggs had already erected enforcement signs on ‘The Green’ in Ramsgill, a key feature of the village. The signs stated that the land is private land and had the effect of discouraging public use, despite the Green also being registered as common land. He had also employed an independent parking company to collect fines from locals and visitors parking there.
Mr Briggs had said he wanted land to be de-registered but if successful with his application that he would have still allowed people to use the land. This was contradictory as there had already been issues with access roads around it and had put up notices on the common land stating people would be fined for parking adjoining it.
The numerous parking prohibition signs on the common land have made it unsightly in what is after all a beautiful village and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Keith Tordoff MBE Chairman of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade said:
The decision of the planning inspector in refusing the application is not only a victory for those in the community who opposed it but also for the whole area.
The planning inspector based his decision on points of law taking into account the history and importance of the use of the common land by the community and visitors.
It is very important that common land which is part of the countryside remains open and accessible to all. Historically the piece of land has been an open space and amenity enjoyed by locals and visitors which can know continue to be the case.
The decision coming before Christmas is a welcome early present for all those who have campaigned to stop the common land being deregistered.