[Diggers350] Common Land: Latest Tory Land Grab...
tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Sep 30 12:50:46 BST 2020
The seven 'pioneer' areas with the deadline of 31 December 2020 are:
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council,
Devon County Council,
Herefordshire District Council,
Hertfordshire County Council,
Kent County Council,
Lancashire County Council.
Minister refuses to extend deadlines for registering common land
We are dismayed that environment minister John
Gardiner has refused to extend the deadline for
re-registering lost commons beyond the end of December 2020.
The society is concerned that, in seven English
the deadline for registering lost commons is 31
December, less than four months away. The
research to uncover lost commons requires visits
to records offices and other archives, which in
many counties have not been possible since
mid-March. In order that unregistered commons
should not be lost for ever, the society argues
that the deadline should be extended.
The society sent Lord Gardiner information about
the record offices in the seven pioneer
areas. At the end of August, the archives in
Cornwall, Hertfordshire and Lancashire were still
closed. The others will either open in September
or are already open, but with reduced visiting
times and capacity, making research difficult and more time-consuming.
In order to extend the deadline, it is necessary
to amend the end date in the regulations, a
straightforward process when countless changes
are being made to legislation to adapt to the
pandemic. Lord Gardiner has responded that there
is no time for this because of the large amount
of high-priority legislation needed to combat the
pandemic and exit the European Union, and that in
any case sufficient time has already been allowed
for re-registration since the regulations were established in 2014.
Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open
Spaces Society: We have lost nearly one-twelfth
of the total time for registering commons through
the closure of record offices.
The ability to register of common land is
important because it entails rescuing commons
which were wrongly omitted from the registers in
the first place. This is a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity to put the record straight, and
enable the lost land to be protected and enjoyed by the public.
The government is regrettably selective about
which deadlines it extends for the pandemic and
favours those which affect the economy. It has
extended time limits for planning permission,
vehicle tests and filing accounts, among many
other purposes. Butnotwithstanding the tsunami
of Coronavirus legislation to achieve these
extensions and for other purposesthe government
says there is no time and no need to legislate for commons.
We shall continue to press the government to
extend this deadline alongside all the others
which will be extended to suit the economy. We
believe government has got its priorities wrong.
1.The seven pioneer areas with the deadline of 31
December 2020 are: Blackburn with Darwen Borough
Council, Cornwall Council, Devon County Council,
County of Herefordshire District Council,
Hertfordshire County Council, Kent County
Council, Lancashire County
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