Help with our legal fees and be part of the history of Moorside Fields Town Green!
To make a regular monthly donation, head to our Golden Giving page by hitting the donate circle opposite. Thank you!
Moorside Fields Community Group was established in 2008 by residents of South Lancaster. The Group aims "to enhance the area known as Moorside Fields for the continued enjoyment of everyone". See more about the background of our story by heading to our Fields Vision Page.
Our little, lo-tech film opposite tells the story of Moorside Fields up until the beginning of 2016. Very little has changed since then - The case is due to be brought to the Royal Courts of Justice by Lancashire County Council again in October 2017.
Town Green Legal Struggle
In 2015, the Group conducted an 8 day Town Green Public Inquiry at Lancaster Town Hall. Land which has been used for lawful parts and pastime for a continual twenty year period gains protection in perpetuity. The Landowners, Lancashire County Council, objected to the application on the ground that the land would at some point in the near future be needed to build an additional primary school to deal with the shortage of school places in South Lancaster. At no point did they base their objection on the need to safeguard children. Planning Inspector Alison Lea, supported the evidence submitted by the Community Group and recommended that four of the five fields applied for be added to the Town Green Register.
Since 2015, Lancashire County Council have contested the decision at the High Court. At a Judicial Review in 2016, they argued that the fields could not be a Town Green due to statutory incompatibility. This was rejected by Justice Ousley.
In October 2017, Lancashire County Council will once again take their arguments to the High Court, this time at an appeal hearing which will last three days. This is likely to cost the tax payers of Lancashire an estimated £40,000. Moorside Fields community Group will once again be represented at the hearing as the Interested Party. However, legal representation does not come cheap and is likely to cost the group as much as £22,500.
If the community group successfully defends the previous decisions made in our favour, then Moorside Fields will remain as fields for the continued enjoyment of local people forever! If Lancashire County Council wins their appeal, they say that they will develop the land for additional school places and a valuable environmental jewel of South Lancaster will be lost to us. As South Lancaster seems set to become a Garden Village over the next twenty years, these pockets of green space within existing conurbations will become even more significant.
What can you do to help?
Please help us meet our rising legal costs by making a monthly contribution to our cause.
If you can commit to donating the cost of a £5.00 bottle of wine every month for a year, that would help.
If you could commit £10.00 per month, that would be even better!
Either way, the decision at the High Court in October will have a major and lasting impact on where we live. If you have ever enjoyed that land or just want to support a group which for a decade has been working very hard to protect our local green space, please make a regular commitment and make yourself part of our local history.
If you cannot imagine the significance of what we have done, look forward 50 years and ask yourself what South Lancaster will look like. We imagine that future generations will thank us for our efforts to preserve pockets of natural beauty where we live.
Enjoy! Oh, and when you have enjoyed, hit the donate button and help us save Moorside Fields Town Green forever.