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Fight to preserve town's green

PUBLISHED: 13:35 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 11:14 23 August 2010

PUBLIC INQUIRY: Town Green

PUBLIC INQUIRY: Town Green

A PUBLIC inquiry is to decide whether a small town centre parkland will be declared a Town Green. Campaign group Urban Gravesham wants St Andrews Gardens, in Crooked Lane Gravesend, to be protected from any future development. Kent County Council s Regu

A PUBLIC inquiry is to decide whether a small town centre parkland will be declared a Town Green.

Campaign group Urban Gravesham wants St Andrews Gardens, in Crooked Lane Gravesend, to be protected from any future development.

Kent County Council's Regulation Committee ruled on the application last week, agreeing it should go to a public inquiry.

Gravesham Borough Council are apposed to the application to make the area a registered Town Green.

The parkland is the site of the proposed Heritage Quarter development by developer Edinburgh House.

The report from the committee meeting reads: "This is a case where there is no clear evidence of a 'knock-out blow', but where there is also some uncertainty regarding whether or not the legal tests required for registration for a Town Green have been met.

"It is a case where further information is required to clarify the issues and overcome the factual disputes in the evidence.

"As such, it seems appropriate that the matter be referred to apublic inquiry where the main issues can be explored in further detail."

Urban Gravesham spokesperson Claire Brown, said: "We are delighted that our application is to go to a public inquiry and are confident that, with the support of the people of Gravesham, we will save this vital piece of open green space for future generations."

A spokesperson for Gravesham Borough Council said they were "delighted" that a public inquiry would be held on the issue.

He added: "This will give an ideal opportunity for all the relevant facts to be aired and the council welcomes this so that accurate information is made public and fully discussed. This is why the council supported a public inquiry.

"It should be pointed out that the council and its development partner, Edinburgh House Estates Ltd, have always rejected the possibility of development on the far more beneficial lower part of St Andrew's Gardens - indeed, the intention is to enhance this important space.

"Any proposal for development of the gardens would, of course, still be subject to the usual planning controls and the scrutiny of the council's independent regulatory board.

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