NAILSEA Town Council has shared its disappointment after its application for The Perrings was rejected.

The town council had applied for Town Green status for land to the south of The Perrings housing estate.

This is regularly used as a public open space and is also popular with dog walkers.

In order to achieve the status, the council had to prove that the land had been in use by right for 20 years. 194 residents had shown support for the application by saying they had made use of the land.

Nevertheless, the application was recommended to be rejected on advice by a barrister,  who was employed by North Somerset Planning and Regulatory Committee. 

The application was rejected on two points, which read:

  • A trigger event has occurred under Schedule 1A to the Commons Registration Act 2006 so that section 15C of the Commons Registration Act applies meaning that the Applicant is not entitled to make the application and it should, therefore, be rejected.
  • If not rejected, the application should be refused because use of the land by local inhabitants has been “by right” and is, therefore, incapable of meeting the statutory requirement under section 15(2) of the Commons Registration Act 2006 that the use must be “as of right”.

Mike Bird, chair of Nailsea Town Council, said: "I am very disappointed by this decision to reject the application for Town Green status at The Perrings.

"This decision hinges on a point of law based on what remains of 40-year-old documents.

"We put forward the proposal to protect the land for the future generations three years ago. 

"The area has been enjoyed by many people since the 1970s and has been maintained by NSC since then until very recently.

"We’re unsure of the next steps as yet but continuing to protect this land as public open space is a priority for Nailsea Town Council."

A North Somerset Council spokesperson said: “We have a responsibility, under the Commons Act, to make decisions about applications for Town or Village Green status.

"We carefully considered Nailsea Town Council’s application for a Town Green status at The Perrings in Nailsea, including seeking external expert legal advice.

"Nailsea Town Council was consulted as part of the process and its comments were taken into account in the legal report.

"This advice was fully considered by councillors on our Planning and Regulatory Committee before they came to a decision.”