A threat to green spaces from the Government's draft Planning Bill has been averted today (18 November).
The draft Planning Bill will receive its third reading in the House of Lords today following amendments that safeguard common land.
The previous draft of the Planning Bill put common land at risk, according to the Open Spaces Society.
Open Spaces Society general secretary Kate Ashbrook said:
"Common land is special, and consequently enjoys extra protection. For instance, if anyone wants to erect a fence or other work on a common he must obtain the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment.
"It appeared the Planning Bill was sweeping away this special protection for commons, where common land was subject to an order granting development consent.
"As drafted, the Planning Bill appeared to override current legislation which requires that, when a common is taken for development, [similar] exchange land must be given back.
"The amendment restores that provision. Furthermore, the environment secretary's jurisdiction over applications for works and other development on common land has been reinstated."
The Planning Bill's "ping pong" stage will start on 24 November, when the Bill will pass back and forth between the House of Commons and House of Lords while debates on amendments take place.
Source:- Horticulture Week