Joy at village green victory

Date published: 19 October 2018

Following a lengthy journey for Heritage Green to be approved as a village green in Norden, residents and delegates alike have shared their delight after the application was unanimously approved on Wednesday (17 October).

Rochdale Council confirmed that the land, at Cut Lane, in Norden, would be entered into the register of town and village greens at the latest full council meeting, according to a report by Local Democracy Reporter, Nick Statham.

Mark Hope, who has led the Friends of Heritage Green in the arduous journey, could barely contain his delight, as he said: “After three-and-a-half tortuous years, in what has frankly been an unfair fight, against all odds, we have emerged victorious and managed to protect the field as a recreational space for the long term.

“This has been a long journey, but in the end Rochdale Council has listened to us and our arguments, and the people’s voices have been heard and the law properly considered, and it is a triumph for justice and democracy. What a result!"

Chairman of Friends of Norden Jubilee Park and NEEVA, Paul Ellison said: “This is the first village green in Norden, which is great news.

“The Friends group has worked extremely hard to register Heritage Green as a village green to ensure the field is enjoyed by many local residents, families and children. Massive praise to the Friends group for all their hard work.”

Mark Thompson said: “I think we all owe Mark a big thank you for his tenacity, talents and time in seeing this through.

“Thank you to our local councillors and MP for their support. The Green can now be enjoyed by all for generations to come.”

MP Liz McInnes said: “I am delighted that after a very long battle the Friends of Heritage Green and local residents have succeeded in securing village green status for the land at Cut Lane, Norden. This is the correct decision by Rochdale Council and a fantastic result for the village and the local community who have worked so hard to make it happen.”

Councillor Neil Emmott, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “I was pleased to be able to move the resolution to register the village green in Norden and I congratulate the Friends on the concise and heartfelt address to the council meeting.”

The land was bought by Rochdale Council in the 1950s via a compulsory purchase order which allowed for housing and recreational uses.

But no evidence was unearthed to suggest that the site was intended for housing and a site inspection showed that the condition of the land would have made it difficult to develop in 1957 and remains so today.

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