Campaigners have lost their fight to have a piece of open land designated a village green to try to save it from development.
Leeds City Council received an application in December 2010 for the land at Pit Hill, Churwell, Leeds, to be registered as a village green. The application was lodged by Save Pit Hill, c/o of Churwell Action Group.
An inspector was appointed and at a public hearing earlier this year supporters and opponents of the application provided their evidence.
The inspector has now ruled that the application be rejected and the council’s south and west plans panel has voted to accept her findings.
In her report the inspector, Ruth Stockley, said the applicants had failed to establish that the land had been used for lawful sports and pastimes as of right to a sufficient extent throughout the relevant 20-year period to have created a town or village green.
She also said it had not been shown that the land had been used by a significant number of peole living in the area.
Coun Robert Finnigan (Morley Borough Independents, Morley North) told the panel: “As ward members we are disappointed with the outcome of this application. It is well know in Churwell this area has been regularly used.
“I would pay tribute to residents and the Churwell Action Group in trying to make sure that this area that has been used for generation remained in public use.”
He added there was significant concern that without the village gren protection the site would be developed.
In a statement issued after the panel meeting, Solicitor Joanne Fearnley, of Yorkshire law firm Gordons, who represented the landowners, welcomed the decision.
She said: “These applications are a real headache for landowners and developers and can tie sites up for years. They’re often used to try to prevent development outside the planning process rather than protect genuine legal rights In this case, the council have accepted the inspector’s recommendation that the action group has produced insufficient evidence to satisfy the criteria for village green status.”