Town green bid for Branksome recreation ground refused

Branksome Rec
Image caption The ground is used by the public for recreational and leisure uses

A bid to get a Dorset recreation ground classified as a town or village green to protect it from development has been refused.

Poole Borough Council last night refused the application to register Branksome rec as a green.

The application had been submitted by Jacqueline Wilson on behalf of Branksome Recreation Action Group (BRAG) in July 2009.

Ms Wilson said the group would not be able to afford a judicial review.

A public inquiry held in October recommended the application should be refused because campaigners had been unable to prove the main qualifying criteria for village green status - that local residents had openly used the land for sports and pastimes continuously for 20 years without permission and without being stopped.

Last night's licensing sub-committee, chaired by councillor Judy Butt, voted unanimously to uphold the recommendation made by the inquiry inspector.

Ms Wilson said: "I'd love to do something more but I cannot afford the cost of a judicial review, which would be about £25,000 to £30,000.

"I am disappointed. There's not a lot of room for development in Poole and there are a lot of flats going up. People are going to need public open green spaces and they are going to need protecting."

Last year campaigners fought to stop Poole Town Football Club building a 160-seat stadium at Branksome rec, which is owned by the council.

The plan was thrown out by councillors worried about the loss of open space and harm to the character of the area.

Town green status protects land, which is used for recreational and leisure purposes, from development.

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