“More than just a patch of grass”: MP Jon Cruddas issues statement on Rainham community land
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:57 12 January 2018
A statement in support of granting “village green” status to a community space was released by Labour MP Jon Cruddas in advance of the decision due to be taken at yesterday’s public hearing.
The residents of Dovers Farm Estate, Rainham, seek village green status to prohibit any future development on nearby Dovers Green.
This land is used for everything from fetes to football matches, as well as a children’s play area.
They face opposition from Havering Council, who submitted an unsuccessful proposal to build 32 homes on the plot of land in 2016.
Jon, who has worked alongside the residents for two years, shared a message of solidarity with the residents on Facebook which will be read out at the hearing.
“Havering Council’s objection to the application to turn Dovers Green into an official Village Green has been nothing short of contemptible,” he said.
“Having read through Havering’s legal submission, I am shocked that anyone in the council signed off on such an insulting document.”
In his statement, Jon gives four reasons for backing the residents’ application.
Discussing the community impact, he said: “Dover’s Green is more than just a patch of grass.
“It is the centre point of a community that has been established since the 1930s.
“The loss of this land will undoubtedly have an impact on the nature of the community.”
When Dovers Farm Estate was built following the Second World War, the patch of land was left as an open area for the community.
The space has been used by the residents for 68 years following.
Following a public consultation last year, it was revealed that the only objector to the application is Havering Council itself.
The MP also argues the land is the last remaining open space in the direct vicinity of residents in an area at risk of becoming a concrete jungle with other developments proposed nearby in Dunedin Road and in progress in Beam Park.
Jon also highlights a recent report revealing that children in the UK spend less time outdoors than prisoners due to the reduction in green spaces.
A Havering Council spokesperson, said: “An application has been made for the listing of land situated in New Zealand Way as a village green. The Council is both the Registration Authority for the purposes of listing and also owns the land in question. As Owner it has made representations on the application.
“A Public Hearing will take place on 11 January at the Town Hall in Romford. Following this hearing, the independent inspector will submit a recommendation to the Registration Authority and a decision on the village green application will be made in due course.”
You can read more on the issue in this week’s opinion section.