Campaign launched to save village green in Oundle

Campaigners are fighting to save a village green which has been used and loved by generations of families

Campaigners are fighting to save a village green which has been used and loved by generations of families

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Campaigners are fighting to save a village green which has been used and loved by generations of families.

Members of the Oundle Recreation And Green Spaces Group are supporting Oundle Town Council as it applies for Fletton field in Glapthorn Road to become an official village green.

They want to protect the land, which has been highlighted as a possible asset which could be sold off, so it can continue to be used by the people of Oundle for years to come.

Jo Trott from the campaign group said: “We are trying to save Fletton field.

“This piece of land has always been thought of as a village green so we are trying to make it official.

“We feel it’s important.”

Oundle Town Council will be presenting its application for village green status at a meeting of Northamptonshire County Council, which owns the land, today (Tuesday).

While the town council is making the application, the campaign group has been working with the authority to collate as much information about its use over the years.

The field was once owned by John Smith who ran Smiths’, the brewery and spirit business in Oundle.

When he died in 1899, it was agreed to sell the land to the Guardians of the Poor of the Oundle Union.

As part of the sale, a covenant was placed on the land which stated that its use was to remain for the people of Oundle and that no buildings other than walls or fences should be built.

The Local Government Act of 1929 transferred the powers of Poor Laws to local authorities and so ownership of Fletton field transferred to the county council.

However, the field has remained in community use.

It has had various uses over the years, including during the Second World War when produce was grown there.

The local school used the field for biology lessons but it wasn’t until the 1970s that the field was designated as a playing field for Oundle Primary School.

Although Fletton field is no longer required long-term by the primary school, the town council and campaign group believes Oundle is still ‘woefully’ short of accessible green recreation space.

Oundle mayor Paul King said he believes there is a strong case for protecting the land.

He said: “We are trying to protect as much green space as we can and there’s evidence to suggest that it’s always been a space used by the community.”

Anyone can apply to register land as a town or village green under section 15(1) of the Commons Act 2006.

The application must show that the land has been used by a significant number of local people for recreation without permission, without force and without secrecy for at least 20 years.

Anyone who wants to support the campaign can send an email to OundleRecreationAndGreenSpaces@gmail.com for more information.