Bid for village green status rejected

A bid by some local people to get a 15-acre area of land at Rogate registered as a town or village green has been unanimously rejected by West Sussex county councillors for the second time in less than two years.

Applicants claimed the land – known as Terwick Woodland, or Rayner’s Woodland – was used for lawful sports and pastimes, and should be registered.

The county council’s rights of way committee heard most of the area was owned by the parish council.

A report by officers said if submitted evidence was accepted, there might have been historic usage as a village green.

But, the selling of the land to the parish council in 1991 created a break.

Any subsequent use of the land was by permission, thereby failing the statutory test that the use must be by right.

“Having analysed the evidence, it is considered that this does not add to or contract any of the evidence considered in relation to the previous application,” the report added.

“We have been here before,” said committee chairman Cllr Bill Acraman on Tuesday, June 14.

“I see no new evidence to change our last decision.”

There had been assertions about the way Rogate Parish Council had conducted its business, and about disputes within the council.

“That is nothing to do with us,” he declared.

“If the parish council is in a mess, maybe the district council may want to take an interest in bringing some order to what seems to be a fairly chaotic condition.

“This is not for us.”