Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Alan Poole and Michelle Fenner the Labour councillors for Moses Montefiore ward have been campaigning with Steve Ladyman MP since 2007 to secure the future of vital leisure facilities in their ward. The Hands Off Our Tennis (HOOT) campaign they worked closely with was a big success. However, the Conservative administration at Thanet Council, having been beaten off once are again looking at trying to sell off the tennis courts for housing.

The slogan at the 2007 Council election of local Conservatives was Vote Blue, Go Green. Shamefully they are reneging on this manifesto commitment and Selling the Green to get their mismanagement out of the Red.

Thanks to innovative legislation brought in by the Labour Government in October 2008, local residents plus Michelle and Alan made an application to Kent County Council for the ‘putting green’ and tennis courts at Montefiore Avenue, Ramsgate to be registered as Common Land.

The Kent County Council Regulation Committee met on 6th February to consider the application. Thanks to Michelle, Alan and Steve's campaigning, plus the commitment of Ramsgate residents the committee decided to refer the decision to a public enquiry. This could secure the land as a green space forever for the people of Ramsgate.

Thanet Council are organising an Asset Disposal Consultation meeting on Friday 20th February at 2pm at their Cecil Square offices to persevere with their attempt to sell off this land. I hope all those who can will attend this meeting.

Hands Off Our Tennis Courts!


  1. I have heard of "leisure" land being registered as a town green or village green but not as common land. The Commons Act 2006 (following the Commons Registration Act 1965) allows for such registration and for the registration of common land.

  2. I asked Michelle Fenner and she said...

    "The application has been made under section 15 of the Commons Act 2008 and regulation 3 of the Commons (registration of Town or Village Greens) (interim Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2007. These regulations have, since 1st October 2008 been superseded by the Commons registration (England) Regulations 2008 which apply in relation to seven 'pilot implementation areas' only in England (of which Kent is one). The legal tests and process for determining applications remain substantially the same.
    Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 enables any person to apply to a Commons registration Authority to register land as a Village green where it can be shown that:
    'a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years;
    In addition to the above, the application must meet one of the following tests:
    - use of the land has continued 'as of right' until at least the date of the application; or
    -use of land 'as of right' ended no more than 2 years prior to the date of application; or
    use of land 'as of right' ended before 6th April 2007 and the application has been made within the 5 yars of the date the use 'as of right' ended."