Local councillors, residents and community groups in Peasedown St John are celebrating after receiving the news that one of the village’s most historic green spaces has received government protection.
The Green, located in-between Frederick & Albert Avenues, has been used as a popular recreational and social space since the 1950s.
Last year, B&NES Council launched its Open Green Spaces Strategy – which looked at what areas of land should be protected from development and preserved for the future.
For Peasedown St John, B&NES identified the following areas as protected Open Green Spaces:
- The Green in Albert and Frederick Avenues
- Eckweek Lane Play Park
- The Orchard Way orchard (next to Frenchfield Road)
- Ecewiche Green
- Beacon Field
The Recreation Field is protected under a different council policy.
However, concern was raised after Curo Housing objected to the council’s Open Green Spaces Strategy and reportedly didn’t want The Green listed as fully protected land.
Cllr Karen Walker (Independent, Peasedown), who grew up in Frederick Avenue, said: “Of all the areas on B&NES Council’s list of protected green spaces, The Green in Albert and Frederick Avenues is the most historically and socially significant.
“Since the 1950’s, children of all ages and local families have used this space for recreational use, outside events, social activities, community carol services and so much more.
“For so many of us The Green is a part of our childhood. Generations of families have played here with thousands of people, over a sixty-year span, having fond memories of summer fun days on The Green.”
Curo, who own the land, inherited it from their predecessor Somer Housing, who purchased The Green along with the surrounding housing estates in 1999 when B&NES Council sold their housing stock.
With fears that plans to protect the land might not go ahead, a campaign led by Cllr Karen Walker, Cllr Sarah Bevan and Nathan Hartley was taken to the government.
Cllr Sarah Bevan (Independent, Peasedown) added: “I was concerned that Curo asked for a lower level of protection for the Green at Albert and Frederick Avenues, on the grounds that this area may need to be ‘reconfigured’ in years to come.
“In some circumstances where homes are integrated with open green spaces, this may be appropriate, but not in this one!
“Here in Peasedown St John’s Homezone, homes and community buildings are geographically separate from the well used, much valued, stand alone green, which should therefore be treated as an exceptional circumstance and receive enhanced protection for the future.”
Nathan Hartley, who served as a B&NES Councillor for eight years is now part of the local Residents’ Association. He attended the Government’s two-day Public Enquiry and spoke about the special significance ‘The Green’ has in the lives of local people.
He said: “Since 2006, residents have been working together to continually keep The Green looking tidy, smart and renovated.
“Just recently, the Residents Association arranged for new picnic tables to be installed, along with the planting of trees and flower bulbs, and the broken fence around the outside to be fixed.
“To think that all our hard work could have gone to waste because of plans to build housing on this patch of land was depressing and very demoralising. As a community, we are extremely pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns and granted The Green full Open Green Space protection.”