Canterbury City Council have submitted a formal application to register Kingsmead Field as a Village Green.
The change of use to a ‘village green’ status protects the land from being developed and is one of the highest protections available in the country.
According to the government: “Town and village greens developed under customary law as areas of land where local people indulged in lawful sports and pastimes. These might include organised or ad-hoc games, picnics, fetes and similar activities.”
“This application is the next piece of the jigsaw.”
Chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “We’re pleased to be delivering on the promise we made back at our committee meeting in late 2016 to voluntarily pursue Village Green status for Kingsmead Field.
“Many people will remember the recent history with the field, but we’ve now developed a very positive relationship with the Friends [of Kingsmead Field] group.
“There has been much activity in recent years – a new play area, bike racks, picnic tables and new walkways around the field to name just four – and this application is the next piece of the jigsaw.”
“We look forward to celebrating its registration later this year.”
Sian Pettman, a member of the Friends of Kingsmead Field was pleased at the progress.
She said: “We are delighted that the council is submitting the application for Village Green status for 80% of Kingsmead Field.
“We’ve been working closely with the council on the enhancement of the field over the last few years, and the attainment of Village Green status will be the fulfilment of a long-held ambition.
“Kingsmead Field will become the first Village Green in the city of Canterbury so it will be a wonderful joint achievement, and we look forward to celebrating its registration later this year.”
Very pleased to announce our application to register @kingsmeadfield as a Village Green has been submitted. This follows many recent improvements, such as a play area, picnic tables, footpaths and a table tennis table. Exciting times! https://t.co/Prt1DohLFG pic.twitter.com/uRDj9qWhcv
— Canterbury City Council (@canterburycc) February 1, 2019
It is hoped the application will be considered by KCC’s Regulation Committee in May.
Meanwhile, planning permission was granted for 16 homes in August 2018. Construction is due to start next year and will provide homes for five local families on the council’s waiting list.