News

Village Green for KSG

King's Stairs Garden is now a Village Green! Those of you who have been coming to our public meetings know that we have been working on this for some time, and last night Southwark Council unanimously passed it.
 
Registration as a Village Green (actually a Town Green which is the same thing but that term isn't often used) outlaws any development which would prevent continuing use of the park by the local community for exercise and recreation, lawful sports and pastimes. Land that has been openly used as a public open space for more than 20 years can often qualify as a Village Green, and registration as such has often been used to prevent development of open greenfield sites. Because of this the Government is bringing in legislation this year to make it harder to register land as a Village Green in the future.
 
Our ongoing struggle to save our park has united the huge community that uses King's Stairs Gardens and we're now proud to have achieved Village Green status which is a positive and crucial step in helping to protect the park for future generations to enjoy. We greatly appreciate the support of Southwark Council - Cabinet Members, Councillors and Officers - who have been committed to making this happen. All three political parties represented on the Council supported this move, as they have supported our campaign from the start.
 
Councillor Barrie Hargrove, the Cabinet Member for Transport, Environment and Recycling who has worked hard to get the registration process through, has also signed off the application for KSG to become a Queen Elizabeth II Field. This status will be a great honour for our park in Diamond Jubilee year, and puts KSG in trust to give further protection from any future attempts attempts at encroachment or development.

Neither Village Green nor Queen Elizabeth II Field status makes KSG absolutely safe from any threats such as the current one from Thames Water - laws can be changed or challenged in the courts. But they do put further obstacles in the way of any plans to develop or build in the park.