Great Lees Field on Pound Lane was ploughed on April 27th for the first time in living memory. This great village asset had been used by many people over the years for exercise, sport, relaxation and recreation, and its sudden loss caused great regret and anger in the village. Because of this, and following consultation, an application was made to Wiltshire Council by a group of villagers called The Friends of Great Lees Field for the field to be designated a village green under the Commons Act, 2006. If Great Lees Field is designated as a village green, this would mean that the field would remain open for use by villagers forever and protected from future development.
Wiltshire Council published a formal notice of the application in the Wiltshire Times on October 7th, and there is now a period for any objections to be made which ends on November 21st. After this, Wiltshire Council will consider all comments and come to a decision.
This is the case that was made to Wiltshire Council. It presents an analysis of the 66 questionnaire returns from all parts of the village and argues that there has been as of right use of Great Lees Field by Semington villagers from at least the 1950s up to its ploughing. The document sets out in detail the use of Great Lees Field by villagers with a focus on the pattern of personal activities that have been carried out and their frequency, the length of time people had used the field and their reasons for going onto the land, people’s knowledge of community activities on the field, how access was gained, and whether permission had ever been denied or access otherwise prevented.
At the moment discussions are taking place with existing village groups about how to establish the Friends on a more formal footing if the application is successful. If you have any ideas about this, or wish to contact the Friends about anything else, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org