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No public vote on village green status
PICKMERE Parish Council will seek legal advice about a potential village green site, but admits it will not be putting any decision regarding the land’s future to a public vote.
The council held a special meeting on Tuesday, October 1 to discuss an application that was made to Cheshire East by Catherine Anne Plowden, formerly of The Orchards, requesting that the land be included on the register of town and village greens.
The land adjacent to Pickmere Lake is known as an Informal Recreational Occupational Space, IROS, and has been owned by the parish council since 1997.
However, parish council chairman Andrew Shore said members were unsure of the legal ramifications village green status holds and will be seeking advice.
“We will not be having a referendum on this issue,” the chairman told the meeting.
“We will be making an informed decision on behalf of the people of Pickmere.
“We owe it to the village to get independent legal advice.”
The application was made to Cheshire East in February, but the parish council was not informed until August – four months from the closing date for objections on Friday, November 8.
The council was also frustrated that the only means of viewing the documentation requires visiting the Cheshire East offices in Sandbach between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.
“I’m concerned that Cheshire East has not made this large amount of information available to the parish of Pickmere,” added Mr Shore.
“Do they believe that a personal visit to Sandbach in office hours is reasonable?
“This is a Cheshire East-led process and there should be ample access for people view it.”
The council questioned whether the application should have been made available online in similar fashion to planning documentation, but were informed by Cheshire East that this is not the case for legal proceedings such as applications for village green status.
A spokesperson for the parish council said: “The council has agreed to take legal advice and upon receipt will give full response to the application.
“The council would, however, express their concern that this application was submitted in February and not received until August 13, and will therefore ask for a further eight weeks extension over and above the given date.”
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