Residents see red over fight to save green land

Families are set to lose their battle to save a popular area of green land from future development.

Campaigning neighbours in Ingol, Preston, were hoping to register land off Walker Lane in Fulwood as a village green.

More than 100 residents submitted statements supporting an application to Lancashire County Council, which could prevent any future development on the site.

But after a lengthy decision process, members of the town greens and sub committee are now recommending that the application is refused.

It has been under the ownership of English Partnerships for decades and is designated for residential development.

A campaign to save the land was officially launched in 1991 by the Green Wedge conservation group when the Central Lancashire New Town and Preston Council unveiled their future development plans.

Almost 10 years on and spurred on by a similar case in the House of Lords, residents Peter Horton, David Hardman and Gordon Cuthbert enlisted the support of solicitor David Renwick in a fresh bid to protect the site.

Regular users of the land claim the site should become rightfully theirs after it has remained untouched for more than 20 years.

But committee members claim the applicants have failed to prove the land has been used for leisure purposes for 20 years or more.

They also claim that the applicant has not established a locality or neighbourhood within a locality to which the green refers.

If the move was successful in a dramatic U-turn by members, it would be the first time in the land’s history it would have been registered.

Whittingham Parish Council also looks set to lose its battle to register land known as The Square in Whittingham as a village green.

The area, known as Cumeragh Village, is surrounded by houses formerly owned and occupied by the staff of Whittingham Hospital.

Nearby residents also claim they have used the land for leisure purposes for more than 20 years and want to claim it as their own.

But members of the town greens and sub committee dispute the length of time it has been freely used by local people, claiming there was a 10-year gap in which the land was leased by the landowner and was therefore not a public right of way.