Help stop the great British public space sell-off

by Good Law Project

Help stop the great British public space sell-off

by Good Law Project
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Latest: Oct. 11, 2022

Vote of no confidence

Shropshire Town Council recently resolved to purchase part of the land back for public good, but last week they voted to delay the decision instead, opting to cease engagement with the community unti…

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Treasured public spaces across the UK are being sold off and lost to private interests at an alarming rate.

Now one community in Shropshire is going all the way to the Supreme Court to fight this - and to defend all of our public interest in our beloved green spaces. 

Greenfields Recreation Ground, in Shropshire, has been a resource to local families since 1926; generations of families have played in it. Throughout that time, the land has been held and managed as recreational land by the council on behalf of the community. But in 2017 it was sold off to a developer - for high-end housing. The community was not consulted and the sale was not advertised, despite there being a legal requirement to do so.

This is not an isolated example. Up and down the country we are seeing our public spaces disappear into private hands.

Locality, a campaign group fighting to save public spaces, estimates that nearly half of all public land in Britain has been sold off since the 1970s - and the capture for private profit of public goods shows no signs of slowing. Nearly 4,000 public spaces and buildings are being sold off every year in England alone.

The pandemic reminded us how important our public spaces are. They are where we come together, exercise, meet our neighbours, make new friends, walk our dogs - and put down roots in our communities. 

The Supreme Court only takes appeals which raise points of ‘general public importance’. And you can read the legal grounds of the Greenfields Community’s appeal here. We want public land to be held for the public - and not to be sold out from under them without consultation. That’s why we're raising money: to protect the Greenfields site, and help the community that uses it, and so many others like it, protect their public spaces.  

Funds will be used towards the costs of Greenfields’ Supreme Court hearing and to support more work by Good Law Project to protect community spaces from private development.

The details:

Leigh Day are acting as solicitors for Peter Day, who is the Appellant in this case, and represents the interests of the Shropshire Greenfields Community Group.

Update 2

Good Law Project

Oct. 11, 2022

Vote of no confidence

Shropshire Town Council recently resolved to purchase part of the land back for public good, but last week they voted to delay the decision instead, opting to cease engagement with the community until after the Supreme Court case is decided.  

“We are incredibly frustrated at this vote. Less than a few months after they apologised and promised to buy back the land, the decision has been kicked into the political long grass. We are disillusioned by the council, hence we are calling for a vote of no confidence. Bring on the  Supreme Court hearing”- Peter Day, Greenfields Community Group. 

With so much resting on the hearing, we need to make sure we can afford all the work required by solicitor’s to finally get justice for Greenfields Community Group, and for future cases like this. 

If you’ve already donated, please help us raise awareness about this important case by sharing the Crowd Justice page on Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp

Thank you for all your support,

Good Law Project team

Update 1

Good Law Project

July 21, 2022

We have a Supreme Court date

On 7 December, Good Law Project and the Greenfields Community Group are going to the Supreme Court. 

We will be fighting to protect a green space that’s been at the heart of one community for generations. And to defend our public interest in our green spaces. 

For almost 50 years, the Greenfields Recreation Ground, in Shropshire, was managed by the local council on behalf of the community. But in 2017, the council sold it to a developer, without consulting local residents or advertising the sale, despite being legally required to do so. 

The Supreme Court only takes appeals that are of ‘general public importance’. This case is about the importance of public land serving the public. It’s about defending our right to have a voice in how green spaces, vital to our wellbeing, are used. 

You can read the legal grounds of the Greenfields Community’s appeal here

We hope the Supreme Court comes to a conclusion that ensures the views and wellbeing of local communities are consulted when the sale of green spaces is being considered. 

We are continuing to raise money to support this case; and to support more work to protect community spaces from private development. 

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