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Why we formed and what we achieved.

A Brief History

In March 2017, Bury Council gave notice of its intention to dispose of 14 green spaces across the Borough of Bury by placing a notice in the local newspaper on 2 consecutive weeks. 2 of the green spaces were on the Huntfold Farm Estate. 

A small group of concerned residents met with an Official of Bury Council who stated that the Council’s preferred outcome was to sell the green spaces at auction. Bury Council were acting under the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980, but they are subject to other Acts of Parliament too concerning the environment and public health.

Such guidance gave conflicting advice which combined with Bury Council’s declared policy to acknowledge the benefits to health and wellbeing of its residents through the protection of green spaces, led to over 400 objections being sent to the Council.

However, through meetings with residents and as a result of the quality and volume of objections, it was agreed that disposal could still be satisfied by the transfer of responsibility to the community through a ‘self-management’ solution.

Since April 2017, a small group of residents representing their community worked jointly with Bury Council Officials to formally put such a model in place.

The Basis of our Objections

Bury Council acted under the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980, but they are subject to other Acts of Parliament too. We believed that in a number of ways, they failed to meet the lawful requirements of these Acts.

We provided a Collection and Drop-off service for our residents for objection letters so that the magnitude of our feelings was made obvious.

We delivered 300+ envelopes on Friday 31st March 2017, but this isn’t the whole story. We understood that some envelopes contained more than one letter and additional letters were sent by concerned residents without using our services. We believe a conservative estimate is that 400+ letters of objection were delivered to Bury Council.

Did You Know?

Research has concluded that for every £1 spent on open spaces, Councils save themselves and others £34 because of the health and wellbeing benefits they gain.

From: State of UK Public Parks, 2016, Heritage Lottery Fund

And our Government says...

“The direct health benefits of urban greenspaces could save the UK health system money... Defra has estimated that if everyone had access to sufficient green space the benefits associated with increased physical activity could save the health system £2.1bn per year.

As well as direct health benefits, analysis from America has highlighted additional financial savings from green space benefits, including air pollution mitigation and social cohesion, at a total worth of $16m”.

From: Defra, 2010, Defra’s climate change plan. Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs.

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