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Lobby group calls for clarity over green spaces bill

Posted 14 January 2011
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Lobby group calls for clarity over green spaces bill
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The government's new localism bill needs clarification and amendment as it passes through parliament to ensure open land is protected, the Open Spaces Society has argued.

Speaking ahead of the bill's second reading on Monday (January 17th), general secretary of the society Kate Ashbrook said: "One of the bill's most important aspects - the care and future of open spaces - lacks any clear idea of what is needed and is a muddle of conflicting provisions."

The society's case officer and solicitor Nicola Hodgson said the requirement for local authorities to produce a list of land of community value is flawed, as the rule that any sale must permit community groups to bid may fall foul of such groups not having enough cash.

It has asked MPs to ask such questions at the second reading so the bill can be amended to ensure such areas have more protection.

A further objection has come from the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, which has said the legislation should give local people the right to appeal local authority planning decisions.

This is something not included in the bill but promised in both coalition party election manifestos, it noted.