Campaigners Fighting For Village Green Rights in Ely

PUBLISHED: 08:57 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:38 04 May 2010

ELY Common could become a certified Village Green, if nature campaigners get their way. A public hearing into the move, opposed by the Thomas Parsons charity who own part of the common, and Jeremy Tyrrell who bought the other part from the charity in 200

ELY Common could become a certified Village Green, if nature campaigners get their way.

A public hearing into the move, opposed by the Thomas Parsons charity who own part of the common, and Jeremy Tyrrell who bought the other part from the charity in 2007, paying £577,000 for part of the common and Roswell Pit, opened yesterday (Wednesday).

Local Campaigners for the Protection of Rural Ely (LCPRE) say the area should be kept for public access, a wildflower meadow and that dog walking should allowed on the land. If it is reclassified as a village green, the land cannot be fenced off or enclosed in any way, but LCPRE members must prove that the area has been used for recreation by local people for at least the past 20 years.

LCPRE raised £5,000 at a charity auction on November 22 which will cover both their legal costs at the hearing and their barrister's fees at the failed appeal by Jeremy Tyrrell into the council's enforcement action at Roswell Pits.

John Aspinall, clerk for the Thomas Parsons Charity said his trustees and governors had prepared written objections to be read out at the hearing, but they would not be legally represented. "It was felt that it would not be a good use of the charity's funds to be involved in the hearing," he told the Ely Standard.

The Thomas Parsons Charity, which has among its trustees members of the Ely Cathedral deanery and prominent Stuntney landowner Anthony Morbey, sold Roswell Pit to Jeremy Tyrrell in 2007 and has an income of around £100,000 a year. Combined with land assets the charity is worth around £2m.

nThe public hearing started at the Ely Beet Club on Lynn Road yesterday (Wednesday) and runs today (Thursday) and Friday, 10am-5pm.

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