Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Cash call for village land bid

THE Knowle Society has appealed for cash and letters of support for a public hearing over its bid to protect land with “village green” status.
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It said a public inquiry will determine the future of three parcels of land off the Wychwood Avenue roundabout and two off Knowle Park (see map here, page 5).

The group said it will need to show the public have used part of the land for at least 20 years for “lawful purposes” and had a right to do so.

Residents filled out forms saying they had used the land which was given to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and letters of support to the inquiry have been called for.

The move has been made possible after the council dropped long-standing plans for a by-pass through Knowle, which was to use the land.

But Bryant Homes and Freehold Portfolios Ltd own all or part of each parcel, leading to concerns it could be developed for housing. The council owns the rest.

Town green status would protect the land from development.

A letter from society president Leighton Jones says: “I am therefore asking each and every one who submitted a form to agree to do this, if I need them.

“We don’t need everyone, but must cover the period and types of uses [by residents of the land].”

It adds: “While talking about contributions, we are in desperate need of the funds to support out case.

“We need to brief a barrister to present the case and they are not cheap!”

It said an increase in annual subscriptions from £3 to £5 for single members of £5 to £7 for joint members from October “will not be enough”.

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