Great News for the future of Speckled Wood
DMP Planning Inspector’s Decision to Extend the Area of Green Space Land Protection in Speckled Wood
The planning inspector responsible for the Public Examination of the Hastings Local Plan and the Development Management Plan, which designates development sites and land to be kept as green space, has announced his amendments to the DMP this week.
He has confirmed the area of protected urban green space as proposed by Hastings Borough Council and, in addition, he has decided that two of the three development sites should be redesignated as part of the green space area. This includes the land next to Victoria avenue which has planning permission and which Ore Community Land Trust has always vigorously opposed. The inspector has clearly agreed with us that it is entirely unsuitable for development and building on it would damage the integrity of Speckled Wood.
This is really great news and makes the 10 years of campaigning to save Speckled Wood worth all of the time and energy expended.
It means that almost all of the woodland valley can now be acquired to become a ‘community woodland’ for all and Ore Community Land Trust can now go ahead with:
- the Ore Village Green project
- a Play Space for children
- the Ore Valley Greenway
- plans for fully accessible paths for people with disabilities
- the restoration of the abandoned allotments for Community Food Growing
Thanks are due to the other groups that have campaigned to save Speckled Wood; to the organisations and individuals who have supported the campaign; to the volunteers who have helped to clear the footpaths and stream, open new footpaths and build the steps and to the councillors in Tressell and Ore wards for their active support and encouragement throughout.
Now is the time to join Ore Community Land Trust if you are not already a member. You can help us to plan the next stages in the process of transferring Speckled Wood into community ownership, developing a woodland management and enhancement plan and creating the projects and amenities for all age groups.
The full report of the inspector is on the Council’s website here along with details of how to take part in the consultation.