Moorside Fields are important to the health and well-being of the neighbourhood: They have been a playground for local people since the first housing estates started to grow up around it in the early part of the last century. It's an invaluable green space which sits at the heart of our community - joining people from Hala, Scotforth, Bowerham and Newlands.
In 2013, the Community Group consulted with locals to develop a Community Vision for Moorside Fields. The Vision realised even greater potential in the land, including traffic-free routes to schools and to link communities, increased accessibility and creation of bio-diversity.
There are a lot of myths that have been repeated in the local press and elsewhere about the decision to make Moorside Fields a Town Green.
This decision was made in a formal legal process, through an eight day public inquiry, by an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. After listening to the many hours of evidence heard during the public inquiry, the Inspector determined that Moorside Fields should be registered as a Town Green.
Rather than listen to uninformed comments, download and have a good old read of the report of this decision to understand the truth of this issue.
We've highlighted the top 3 myths being repeated by people opposed to the town green......
Myth 1 - 'it is all about dog walkers'
You could not register a Town Green based on dog walking evidence alone. The tests are very rigorous and you have to prove that a whole host of activities have taken place on the land as of right over a twenty year period.
Please see paragraphs 40, 41, 47 and 48 of the report to read details of evidence of the remarkable range of activities on this land. The Inspector describes the evidence provided by members of the community on this as "compelling" (paragraph 59).
Myth 2 - 'the school use the land all the time'
The Inspector was unconvinced by the evidence school staff provided on this point describing it as contradictory, and "difficult to reconcile" with the evidence of their headmaster and the facts about the state of the land - see paragraph 103 (and paragraph 71) for her assessment of the evidence provided by school staff. The Inspector found that the school did use the land occasionally in "peaceful co-existence" (paragraph 105) with members of the community. What a shame that certain members of the school community have chosen to shatter that peace.
Myth 3 - 'there are no development plans for the land'
Lancashire County Council consistently said throughout the inquiry (and Councillors and officers said many times before the Inquiry started) that the land would be required to build a primary school (see paragraph 119 for confirmation of this). They even provided outline plans for this new school in their paper evidence provided to the Inquiry. This school would be built on both Moorside Fields and Barton Road playing field. Having town green status means that Moorside Fields can never be built on - this protection is forever.