Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Is there a ‘Village Green’ in Bohemia?

Kat Lee-Ryan writes (Aug 2008)

Dear Sir, I wonder if it’s possible to register the piece of land used by the Bohemia Village Fayre as a village green? It might put paid to any building plans. It has been used by dogwalkers, and the fire brigade’s fete for over 20 years has it not? I haven’t got the time but I thought you might know someone who has some time to throw at it.

It might also be worthwhile trying to protect the Oval as well. There are no plans as far as I know for building on the Oval, but there are plans for the swimming pool and so the old site could be sold off and the Village Fayre piece of land with it, and then it’s a brownfield site and then it’s houses with no trouble at all. See:

Kat Lee-Ryan, organiser, Bohemia Village Fayre.

  • The ESCC website gives the following information about village greens: if your community has an area that you use for sporting activities, or other pastimes, then registering it as a village green may ensure it stays that way. A village green is legally defined as an area where people in the community have enjoyed legitimate sports or pastimes for at least twenty years. ‘Legitimate sports or pastimes’ include things like: cricket matches, blackberry picking, dog walking, village fetes. To register a new village green you must prove that: the land is mainly used by local residents (rather than, say, day trippers) and that it has been used for at least twenty years. If you wish to register land as a village green, please first visit the DEFRA website: where you will find guidance notes and an application form..
  • You also will need to supply: a map showing the boundaries of the proposed village green, evidence forms or letters of support from residents saying when and how they use this land, a map outlining the area that local users of the land come from and a completed statutory declaration (included in the form), witnessed by a solicitor or magistrate. Once your application is received, it is publicised and a period for people to comment on the application is opened. It may be necessary for a planning inspector to hold a hearing to decide about your application. The inspector will then recommend whether or not the land should be registered as a village green. An elected councillor with special responsibility for these applications has the final say about whether or not village green status is granted. The planning inspector’s report is sent to this councillor who then writes to all parties concerned to confirm the final decision. Any takers? – ed.


Vic Chalcraft writes (Sep 2008)

Dear Sir, what’s all this rubbish about a village green? [issue 62, August 2008, letter from Kat Lee-Ryan, organiser of Bohemia Village Fayre] To have a village green, you must have a village, not a figment of someone’s imagination, although I sympathise and support their view of no building on the area [green just north of Summerfields’ Sports Centre]. As for the Oval, if the writer had done their homework, they would have discovered that the Oval was opened and given to the children of the Borough by the then Prince of Wales in the early 1920s. If they really want a usable green area, well, in the Bohemia area why don’t they support those residents fighting to get Newgate Field – if they know where it is – back to its former glory, a beautiful wooded picnic and play area, not the stinging nettle-covered area it is today. If I remember rightly in an earlier issue of the Voice, Mr Humphries [Voice editor] said something about campaigning for this.

Vic Chalcraft, Aldborough Road.

The ESCC website states “If your community has an area that is used for sport or other pastimes, then registering it as a village green may ensure that it stays that way. A ‘village green’ is legally defined as any area where people in the community have enjoyed legitimate sports or pastimes for a number of years. Such activities include things like cricket matches, blackberry picking, dog walking and fetes”. We will be doing a piece on Newgate Fields before the end of this year – that’s a promise – ed.


Vic Chalcraft writes (Oct 2008)

Dear Sir, your footnote to my letter in the September issue describes perfectly Newgate Field as it was until recent times, when as I said, it is now nettle and weed covered, and far from the nice area it was for many years. Yet the area your correspondent is talking about has only been open to the public for the past few years and I think it could be counted on one hand the number of times that it has been used for public events other than as an annual fairground.

Vic Chalcraft, Aldborough Road

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