Monday, 21 September 2009

They Tried to Take Our Parks Away...

Now I only said I was going to be a bit quiet, not that I would disappear completely.

So, I'm popping in to sing the praises of a small community group who I'd only vaguely heard of before, 'Friends of the Forest' (that's just a brief Wiki mention unfortunately, they don't seem to have a website).

As well as playing a big part in the ongoing restoration of the Forest Recreation Ground they had a little run in with NCC concerning the Arboretum, as the 'Post' reports.

It seems that Nottingham High School had been using a bit of the Arboretum as a car park with the full blessing of NCC.

FotF correctly thought that this breached the terms of the relevant Enclosure Act which set aside the Arboretum and the Forest (amongst other pieces of land) exclusively for recreation. In order to bolster their case they asked NCC for a copy of its own legal advice on the matter but, predictably, they were refused. NCC considered that it was subject to 'legal professional privilege' and that there were 'commercial interests' at stake.

Enter the Information Commissioner who issued a decision telling NCC to fess up pronto and it's another victory for the little guy. Cue weasel words from NCC spokesdroids such as "it was temporary" and "reviewing our options" and the like.

What interests me is where does this leave the Park and Ride on the Forest? Of course, pre-tram it was significantly larger but I was once told that NCC had once been subject to some form of action on a similar basis about it i.e. it was in breach of the relevant Enclosure Act. I've searched and searched on the interwebs to find anything but to no avail so if anybody has any info I'd be pleased to hear from you.

1 comment:

nottgirl said...

Don't know about the enclosure act and the Park and Ride - but I do know about the shenanigans with the Lodge (the closed down white building on the Forest at the Mansfield Road side). Several years ago the Lodge had been unused and was squatted.

When Nottingham City Council went to court to evict the squatters, the judge sought an assurance from the Council that if the squatters were evicted, the Lodge would be used. The judge said he was not willing to evict the squatters if the Lodge was going to be left empty for years.

Nottingham City Council gave this assurance, the squatters were evicted....and then the Lodge was left empty for years!