Village green bid sparks a legal battle for Milton Keynes Council

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A bid by a group of neighbours to turn a concrete cul-de-sac into a village green has caused a legal quandary for MK Council.

Community-minded residents in Penn Road, Fenny Stratford have been using the land outside their homes for street parties and charity events for the past 20 years.

They say they are entitled “as of right” to have it registered as an official green under the Commons Act.

If they succeed it will be a criminal offence for anybody to build on or fence off the patch of land, which measures 17 metres by 20 metres and is opposite Pink Punters nightclub.

Despite months of debate, the council has not reached a decision – mainly due to legal threats from the Canal and Rivers Trust, who own part of the area.

“It has turned into a battle of the barristers and it must be costing a fortune,” said Penn Road resident Tim James.

It is understood the Trust, together with would-be developers HID Estates Ltd, want to retain an interest in the land to protect future development.

Earlier this year councillors decided to refuse the application. Then weeks later they organised a special meeting to discuss whether they should change their minds.

But, in a bizarre blunder, residents were told the meeting started at 7pm – when it was actually held at 6pm.

“We arrived at the council and the meeting room was all locked up. It was all over,” said Mr James.

Now he and his neighbours claim that meeting was illegal because they were misinformed of the time.

This week the residents, objectors and councillors were due to hold a second meeting in a bid to finally reach an agreement.