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Village green status for Nunthorpe beauty spot now official

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A photo of Andy Preston and Mieka Smiles

A Middlesbrough beauty spot has had its Village Green status application rubber stamped.

The parcel of land at The Avenue in Nunthorpe now has formal protected status after being approved by Middlesbrough Council's Licensing Committee.

The application to make the near seven-acre site a certified Village Green had been put forward earlier this year by the authority's Executive team. 

Its approval was supported by Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston and his Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mieka Smiles, who is also ward councillor for Nunthorpe.

Cllr Smiles said: "When I became councillor for Nunthorpe one key priority for residents was that I worked hard to protect and enhance Nunthorpe's green spaces. And one thing that I thought that Nunthorpe deserved was an official village green.

"This status for the fields off The Avenue is both a recognition and celebration of their use for recreation by residents but also protects it by law well into the future from any development or damaging changes.

"I think the designation as village green will also help it act as a focal point for lovely community events, like organised games in summer or carols at Christmas.

"I'm really happy this has come to fruition as it's what residents deserve."

On a previous visit to the site Mr Preston said: "Green spaces like this are important to local communities for all sorts of reasons, and I'm committed to protecting them wherever I can.

"This one next to The Avenue is a great example, and is clearly popular and well used."

Village Green the land will be protected from development or change. Registration of land as a Town or Village Green means that the residents of the locality will have the right to use the land for lawful sports and pastimes.

The piece of land will be recorded in a legal document known as the Register of Town or Village Greens.

As such it will become a criminal offence to:

  • wilfully cause injury or damage to any fence on a green;
  • wilfully take any cattle or other animals onto a green without lawful authority;
  • wilfully lay any manure, soil, ashes, rubbish or other material on a green;
  • undertake any act which causes injury to the green;
  • undertake any act which interrupts the use or enjoyment of a green as a place of exercise and recreation;
  • encroach on a green; or
  • enclose a green.

The change in status was recommended for approval with a previous report stating: "The land at The Avenue, Nunthorpe is a valued open space resource that benefits the local community. Village Green status recognises its importance and role in the local community and represents the most appropriate course to seek to protect it in perpetuity."

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