Sutton village green decision date is set

CAMPAIGNERS calling for Sutton Lawn to be protected from development have been told they will now have to wait until next month for a decision.

A three-day public inquiry took place at the Kirkby Summit Centre in March to resolve a dispute over an 18-hectare area of the Lawn owned by Nottinghamshire County Council, which borders Garden Lane.

Calling for protected village green status for the patch of land were campaigners from the Lawnside Community Association, who said the land should be reserved for the use of the community.

But battling their application is Nottinghamshire County Council, which has secured planning permission to build a school on the site to replace Sutton Centre Community College.

It had originally been hoped that any decision would be made within weeks of the inquiry closure.

But both sides have now been told the decision will be made at the meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Rights of Way Committee on 22nd June.

Village green campaigner Rebecca Searston said a decision in their favour would show the county council had acted in the interests of local people.

“The evidence is there that a great deal of residents want this land to continue to be available for the community,” she said.

“We have always said from the very start, yes Sutton Centre needs new buildings. But they should not be built on this site.”

The committee will be relying on a report produced by the inspector who led the public inquiry, David Manley QC.

The legal expert was asked to consider whether the land has been used by locals ‘without secrecy, force or permission for at least 20 years for lawful sports or pastimes.’

A spokesman for Nottinghamshire County Council said a three-month time scale was not unusual for this type of application.