title="Boxley Parish Council in Kent">

NewsSun, 16th December 2018

News  »  Village Green

   Village Green    September 13, 2018

Boxley Parish Council has written to Maidstone Borough Council asking for it to voluntarily submit Weavering Heath, Wents and Five Acres Woods for Village Green status. The parish council was reacting to worried residents concerned about the development going on around the area. Whilst Maidstone Borough Council has not indicated that it has a wish to develop Weavering Heath, as more pressure is placed on local authorities to find land for housing and as finances become more stretched, residents want to ensure that the future of this beautiful and precious area is fully protected. In a previous local plan the site had been designed as an Area of Local Landscape Importance but this designation was no longer allowed.


Six residents attended the parish council meeting on 3 September and many more had written in supporting the proposal. They heard councillors identify that Weavering Heath is one of the few areas in Maidstone where there are sweeping views of the Kent North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its wildlife and amenity value is outstanding.  Wents and Five Acre Woods are remaining fragments of Ancient Woodland which are also owned by the Borough Council.


A local volunteer group, Friends of Weavering Heath and Woodlands, is being set up and it has already arranged litter picking events and is in discussion with the Parish Council and Maidstone Borough Council about being officially recognised and obtaining approval for undertaking work on Borough Council owned land.


Cllr Vic Davies who was chairing the meeting and who lives close to the area said “the request for Village Green Status is not only about protecting the area from any future threat of development, councillors heard from the residents that it is also about localism and community cohesion. It was a quick, easy and unanimous decision to request village green status”.  Like many urban areas Grove Green and Weavering is under siege from development, traffic and life in general and it wants to retain and improve its community identity. 


Village Green status is easily obtained if there is a voluntary submission however if Maidstone declines to do this then the parish council will consider taking the more formal approach and gathering the necessary evidence to submit to Kent County Council which is the authority responsible for awarding common land and village green status.



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