Brentwood ‘green lung’ given community asset protection

A “green lung” in Brentwood has been listed as a Asset of Community Value – adding protection against any plans for its development.

It means if the green space at Iris Close comes up for sale, then the community will be given a fair chance to make a bid to buy it on the open market.

The green piece of land was first listed by Brentwood Borough Council in 2014 but came off the register in 2019 when the five year period expired.

The council received a nomination in October from Pilgrims Hatch Community Partnership to relist the land known as Iris Close Amenity Green.

Councillor Vicky Davies (Lib Dem, Pilgrims Hatch) said at the community, environment and enforcement committee on December 19: “It’s the only green lung basically in the flowers estate and I think when the area was developed many years ago it was designed that this would be an area for recreation and for the enjoyment of the residents.

“And the people that use this area aren’t just people in Iris Close. It’s people in the surrounding roads because it’s used by the children. They come and play on the grass and over the years it’s just become an established part of their amenity area.”

If the owner of land or buildings that are listed as assets of community value wants to sell them, they must contact the council who will notify the community group that nominated the asset.

The community group then has the opportunity to register its interest as a potential bidder, triggering a six month moratorium period during which, subject to certain exceptions, the owner can only sell the asset if it is to a community interest group.

After the six month moratorium period the owner can sell to whomever they choose.

Councillor Davies added: “All areas are under threat and I know this isn’t a panacea in terms it doesn’t prevent things happening in the future but I do feel it gives it a little bit more protection and I do feel it also gives the residents a nice feeling that they can continue to use this for social activities as well as day-to-day activities dog walking and various things like that.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter