We have just received the report from the Independent Counsel commissioned by ESCC to provide an opinion on the application for village green status for the Hollycroft Field.
He has found unequivocally in our favour!
ESCC will now consider this report and refer the decision to a Town and Village Green Panel, which will meet in June. Given the strong recommendation, we would expect that this Panel will confirm our application. We do not expect further objections from LDC, who have given a commitment that they will respect the verdict of ESCC.
This has been a very long process. The original application for Village Green Status was submitted back in December 2013, following a survey of the parish. There have delays, objections, new evidence and counter-evidence, and a protracted building of the case, which culminated in our final submission back in August 2016. Along the way, we learned quite a lot, both about the law and about the history of East Chiltington.
Lots of people have helped us get to this point. Thanks especially to:
Everyone who submitted the original evidence forms;
Barry Manville, Andy Manville and Sharon Vaisey who provided supplementary witness statements;
Saverio Kratli for helping with the digging and sifting of the evidence and for his incisive and forensic attention to detail;
Teresa Shopland for helping with the laborious task of preparing the final submission (all 150 or so pages of it);
All of the ECAG members who contributed funds to help pay for our barrister, Joe Newbigin;
The Environmental Law Foundation for facilitating access to Joe via its pro bono network;
And to our fantastic barrister Joe Newbigin, who has made all the difference between winning and losing. For a hugely reduced fee, he made a detailed – and clearly convincing – case of the evidence we provided. We are very grateful to Joe for all of his work.