This second application, by Mrs Ruth Bowley, has cost council tax payers in the region of £25,000. Kent County Council had to seek legal advice from Counsel on several occasions, before deciding to hold an informal Public Inquiry.
Canterbury City Council was the main objector as it is the land owner and it also had to have legal representation for the Public Inquiry. In order to fight to keep the playing field as it is; available for teams to play football and cricket as they do now and for the people of the parish to use it as before, as a playing or recreation field.
The applicant Mrs Bowley did not have to pay for her legal representation, as she used the Kent Law Clinic based at UKC. The first application was submitted by Mr Eric Bowley; neither of them seemed to be fully aware of the implications to the users of the playing field, should Village Green status be awarded.
The KCC Regulation Committee met on 14 December 2009 at the Guildhall, Canterbury and voted unanimously against the application which did not meet the criteria, as recommended in the inspector’s report, which was published in September.
The Parish Council did not register as an objector as it did not wish parish precept money to be used for a barrister. The parish council was advised that if they continued as an objector they would need to have legal representation at the Public Inquiry. However Parish Cllrs Bill Whiffen and Carol Davis did speak as witnesses for the Canterbury City Council, representing the Parish Council.
Report on KCC Village Green Hearing and Full inspectors report on related pages