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Oulton residents join forces for inquiry

PUBLISHED: 17:48 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:43 05 July 2010

OULTON residents gathered together this week ahead of a public inquiry that could save an area of land from becoming another new housing estate.

Neighbours, dog walkers and even a horse rider united at the old Suffolk Fat and Bone site on Tuesday to publicise an application to register the land as a village green.

OULTON residents gathered together this week ahead of a public inquiry that could save an area of land from becoming another new housing estate.

Neighbours, dog walkers and even a horse rider united at the old Suffolk Fat and Bone site on Tuesday to publicise an application to register the land as a village green.

On Monday a public inquiry will take place at the Wherry Hotel, in Oulton Broad, to debate an application which was made by Kenneth Alexander, of Wood Lane.

Mr Alexander applied to register the land as a village green using the Commons Act 2006, which allows for the registration of land as a green where “a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, have indulged as or right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years”.

An inquiry was called after objections from the Norwich Diocesan Board of Finance and Danisco Beaminster.

One of the objections to his application is that the site has not been used for recreation by a significant number of local people for 20 years, but this has been refuted by residents who said they have used it for the past 30 years.

Mr Alexander said: “This is one of the few places left with a freedom to take your dog on a walk. There is also deer, foxes and other wildlife that you wouldn't get in a park.”

The proposed Woods Meadow development, which currently has outline planning approval, does include plans for a country park, but the residents do not think this will compare to the site.

“We don't want a pretty park with trees and cut grass. We want it kept as it is - a nature reserve,” said Brenda Thrower, of Grampian Way.

Peter Collecott, Waveney district and Oulton parish councillor, has also lent his voice to the campaign.

“We want to preserve this whole area as a natural development. This is a beautiful part of the Suffolk country-side,” he said.

If the area of land is granted village green status, it will prevent the former site of the factory being built on.

The public inquiry begins at 10am on Monday at the Wherry.

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