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Application made to designate the Radley Lakes a Town Green


An application has been made to have the Thrupp and Bullfield Lakes at Radley and surrounding land declared a ‘Town Green’. This application has now cleared the first hurdle by being accepted as ‘duly made’ by Oxfordshire County Council. If the land is eventually registered as a Town Green, RWE npower will not be able to use it as a dump for 500,000 tonnes of waste ash from Didcot Power Station.

Under the1965 Commons Act, if land has been used by local people ‘as of right’ for lawful sports and pastimes for over twenty years, it can be registered as a Town (or Village) Green. That protects it from development

The County Council now has to advertise the Radley Lakes application and seek comments from the landowners and the general public. If a large number of comments are received, the County Council is likely to hold a public inquiry in front of an independent inspector into the application. That might lead to a recommendation that the Lakes be registered.

Mrs Jo Cartmell, who made the application, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that my application has cleared the first hurdle. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to put in evidence saying that they have been using the land for recreation for years. Local people love this spot – it is one of the very few places left near Abingdon where you can go and get away from it all.

“It’s extraordinary that RWE npower should want to destroy it. They should never have bought the site in the first place – they should have realised how much local people valued it because it is close to their homes. It would have been better if they had thought a bit more carefully about it before they bought the site without getting planning permission first.

“Now that the Town Green application is going on to the next stage, anybody who wants to can write to the County Council and ask for the area to be registered. The more letters and evidence the County gets from local people, the stronger the case will be. I am very optimistic about the outcome”.

Applications to make the Glebe Land at Sunningwell and the Trap Grounds in Oxford into Greens both ended up in court cases at the House of Lords. In both cases, the Law Lords ruled that the land should be protected.

Last week, the campaigners discovered that there is 8 million cubic metres of empty landfill space at Sutton Courtenay – 4.6 million cubic metres more than the company which runs the landfill site previously thought. Waste ash from Didcot Power Station is already being disposed of at Sutton Courtenay. Radley Lakes campaigners say that planning permission for Radley cannot now be granted, because there clearly is an alternative site available at Sutton Courtenay.


[updated 10/02/2007]
A packed public meeting on 9 February 2007 gave its wholehearted approval and support to the application. See full story.

[updated 22/02/07]
Having viewed the evidence, Oxfordshire County Council has announced that a Public Inquiry will be held to consider the Town Green application. See full story.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.radleyvillage.org.uk/application-made-to-designate-the-radley-lakes-a-town-green/