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Public meeting -  20th September 2003

Bushfield Down Supporters Group

Working to preserve
Bushfield Down
and its surrounding area


VILLAGE GREEN
APPLICATION FOR BUSHFIELD
(see the Open Spaces Society for details of Village Green rights)

IMPORTANT UPDATES October 2012

Inclusion of Bushfield in the Winchester City Council Joint Core Strategy Plan

The Bushfield site is currently included in Winchester City Council's Core Strategy as an 'Opportunity Site'.

At the 30th October Examination of the Joint Core Strategy some time was given over to discussion of Bushfield.

Anne Bartaby, director of Town Planning at Terence O'Rourke represented The Church Commissioners at this meeting. The Church Commissioners' plans for development of the site as a 'knowledge park' was discussed. When pressed, Ms Bartaby defined their concept of a 'knowledge park' for Bushfield as "possibly including a private hospital, school, gym, retail, hotel, or the headquarters of a 'knowledge' company such as Vodafone or McLaren Cars" (need we say more?). Ms Bartaby also stated that the Church Commissioners view the application for Town and Village Green status for the area as 'bizarre'. She also posited the view that the TVG application "is clearly a step to stop development on the site".  Of course, nothing could be further from the truth on each of these points.....

 
 Church Commissioners Challenge Inspector's Decision

The Church Commissioners have not accepted the Inspector's advice and have subsequently applied to the High Court for Judicial Review.

As of the end of October 2012 this process is ongoing as The Queen on the application of The Church Commissioners -v- Hampshire County Council

The Applicant for Town & Village Green status is named in this action as an Interested Party.
So there is still some way to go until we have our village green ...  but we will keep on keeping on ..

IMPORTANT UPDATE May 2012

Following the one-day non-statutory Public Inquiry session on 19th March Mr L Blohm QC, the Inspector, has published his advice on the preliminary issue.

Mr Blohm's advice is that the application has been 'duly made'.

In other words, finding that the landowners' objection was not valid and that the inquiry will now proceed to hear evidence of use of the land from local residents.

If you would like to read Mr Blohm's advice, you can download it HERE

It is tremendous for the local communities that this first hurdle has been cleared. The dates for the second phase - hearing evidence from local residents who used the land 'as of right' for lawful recreation and pursuits for the period of 20 years between 13th July 1983 and 13th July 2003 - will be agreed as soon as possible.

We will post the date here when we have details.

Bushfield - Adrian Harvey Photography
(More of Adrian's Bushfied photographs HERE)

Early Morning - Bushfield Down St Cross from Bushfield Bushfield Parade Ground before clearance

Early Morning, Bushfield. Photographs above by Claire Royall and Howard Teece

Bushfield - Snow Fun Bushfield Camp Bushfield Down in Snow

Bushfield in Snow. Photographs above by Claire Royall and Howard Teece

Update March 2012

On Monday 19th March the first day of a non-statutory Public Inquiry into the Application for Town & Village Green status will be held by
Mr L Blohm QC in the Council Chambers, Hampshire County Council, Winchester.  This session will hear arguments as to whether the application is 'duly made'. The land owners (the Church Commissioners) have challenged this fact.

Updates January 2012

On Thursday 19 January more than 50 local residents and supporters of the Bushfield TVG application met in the Badger Farm Community Centre (co-incidentally, in the 'Bushfield Room') for an update on progress of the application and to provide input and advice for the upcoming enquiry.

Many thanks to everyone who attended!

The landowners continue to clear both scrub and trees to the East of the Bushfield Camp parade ground. The majority of the young trees that were planted there and screened a few years ago have now gone as well as some of the larger 40-50 year-old trees (someone counted the rings!)

**IMPORTANT UPDATE** - January 2012

On 23 November 2011 the HCC Regulatory Committee unanimously (13-0) recommended the establishment of a non-statutory public enquiry into the Bushfield Town & Village Green application. An inspector has been appointed and the first session of his enquiry hearing will be held on 19th March 2012. Once he has completed his enquiry the Inspector will make recommendations to the Registration Authority whether to accede to, or to reject, the application.

Documents from the Regulatory Committee meeting: http://j.mp/z2xlBD

Update November 2011

The report of the Hampshire County Council Director of Culture, Communities & Business Services on the application for registration of Bushfield to be designated under the Town & Village Greens Commons Act 2006 is scheduled to be considered by the HCC Regulatory Committee on WEDNESDAY 23 NOVEMBER 2011. The meeting is open to the public and will commence at 10am in the Council Chamber of the HCC offices (to the left approaching the Great Hall).  We encourage to you attend and please let others know that this meeting is happening. It is an important step in the process of obtaining Town & Village Green status for this area.  The Director is recommending that a non-statuatory public enquiry be held and an inspector appointed to conduct the enquiry and hear evidence for and against the application. We believe that it is important that the HCC Regulatory Committee makes a decision on 23 November and does not delay further.

It is now some 8 years since an original Right of Way application was submitted for access across part of this area. The Town & Village Green application was made more than 3 years ago - on 30 June 2008. If a decision is forthcoming for a public enquiry, and we see no reason why this should not the case, we will need your support to help galvanise those who have made statements as to their use of the land over at least 20 years prior to 2003 as well as other local Winchester groups and supporters in preparation for the enquiry, which is likely to be held in February 2012.

UPDATE - August 2010

The application for Town and Village Green status is currently being reviewed by Hampshire County Council. The last response to objections was submitted to the County Council in early January 2010.

UPDATE - January 2010

Following our application to achieve ‘Town and Village Green’ status, progress has been made but we are not out of the woods yet.

An objection to our application has been received from the Church Commissioners and a local farmer. Hampshire County Council has requested our response to these objections. We are working with the Open Spaces society and other very helpful people and will deliver this to HCC in January.

NOTE: People who have been using Bushfield since 1983 at least
Although we have at least 40 written statements to date, we may need to ask for more statements by locals who have been using Bushfield since at least 1983 for 'lawful sports and pastimes' - including walking, running, dog walking, blackberry picking, bird watching, picnicking, sledging or other recreational activities. If you fall into this category and would be prepared to swear a statement that this is the case, please email us at
villagegreen@bushfielddown.co.uk.

All help is greatly welcomed to retain this marvellous piece of Hampshire countryside for recreational use by local residents.

Photograph above by Charles Jennings

Bushfield Camp and parade ground are clearly visible from part-way up St Catherine's Hill
(the western extremity of the South Downs National Park)

Local Residents Enjoying the Snow on Bushfield Down - January 2010

Photographs by Charles Jennings

click on the photographs below to view them in full-size


[1] boys with toboggan [2] view of St Catherine's Hill from Bushfield Down [3] families enjoying the snow on Bushfield Down [4] igloo with old tyre 'door' on Bushfield camp parade ground
[5] girls sledging on Bushfield Down [6] looking towards the beech avenue on Bushfield Down


One view why it is important to preserve Bushfield.

Andrew Rutter
'Winchester. Heart of a City' 2009

"Bushfield Down.  This is a unique area which, although it does not have any distinctive features, nonetheless by virtue of its elevated position on the west side of the valley plays a crucial part in the setting of St Cross, as well as providing a backdrop to the central conservation area. It also represents the best position to appreciate the three principal medieval buildings that give Winchester conservation area its visual character, the Cathedral, Winchester College and St Cross in their original downland setting, still amazingly unaffected by modern development. If one considers that these three groups of medieval buildings are of both national and European cultural importance .. unblemished by subsequent development, then the desirability of retaining this open space - part of their setting - becomes essential and should never be downgraded."

Andrew Rutter was Conservation Officer for Winchester City Council from 1974-1999

UPDATE - June 2009
An application for the registration of the Bushfield area as a Town or Village Green under Section 15
of the 2006 Commons Act was submitted to Hampshire County Council on Monday 30th June 2008

THANKS - June 2008
We would like to thank EVERYONE for your support! A large number of local residents have been involved providing material for the application, from witness statements to photographs and other evidence of use of the land. 

More than 80 people provided evidence of having taken part in 'as of right lawful sports and pastimes - without force, without stealth or secrecy, and without permission' on the land for many years - with one respondent providing evidence of having used the area since 1941!

SUBMISSION - June 2008
Bushfield Down Supporters Group members submitting
the application at Hampshire County Council offices



(click to view full-sized images in a new browser window)



____________________________

Supporters' Meeting - WhiteShute Ridge. Saturday 7th June 2008

A very successful meeting was held on Saturday, 7th June with approx. 50 people attending. John Pilkington, well-known local travel writer and broadcaster, emphasised the importance of the application in the wider context of preservation and access to the area

     
Photographs of the 7th June meeting
(click to view full-sized images in a new browser window)

____________________________

ABOUT BUSHFIELD

Bushfield Down
is an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of four quite densely populated residential areas to the south of Winchester, Hampshire.

Bushfield Down offers extraordinary access to an open space filled with wild flowers and inhabited by many forms of wildlife. It is an area that provides a very special kind of freedom to local people who run, walk their dogs, explore with their children, and engage in other recreational activities.

Quite specific to the area are  the wonderful views of Winchester. From Bushfield Down you can see the 800-year old St Cross Church, the 900-year old Winchester Cathedral, St Catherine's Hill with its Iron Age earth works and many areas of Winchester.

Local residents of the area surrounding Bushfield Down are working to preserve their right to use this area for recreation. Please contact us if you would like more information or if you would like to join the Bushfield Down supporters group in working to retain access to this beautiful area.

Email contact:  villagegreen@bushfielddown.co.uk

Click here for details of the BIRDS ON BUSHFIELD DOWN
 




Winchester City Council open space strategy



Hampshire County Council environment information

The Open Spaces Society
GREEN ALERT! CAMPAIGN

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