An online petition has been started to save ancient Lyde Green Common.
Devon-based company Norft Ltd has applied to the Planning Inspectorate to deregister the Common and in exchange proposes to give the community an alternative site off Coxgrove Hill.
Julian Darling, of Norft, claimed ownership of the land some years ago after buying the lordship of the manor of Westerleigh.
The reason given for the switch is “health and safety requirements”.
At their meeting earlier this month Emersons Green town councillors unanimously agreed to fight the application. And last week town council clerk Beverley Ewens set up a petition on the Change.org website which so far has 215 signatures.
She said: “The land which surrounds the Common is currently being built upon with approximately 2,500 homes. This historic piece of land will soon form an integral part of the new Lyde Green development and we believe it is very important that it should remain common land.”
The petition can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/oj58o5k
The deadline for comments to the Planning Inspectorate was originally 19th October but that has been extended to next Monday (2nd November). Representations can be made to Common Land Team, The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/25B, Hawk Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
Among those objecting so far are local MPs Chris Skidmore and Luke Hall and the Open Spaces Society, which says it as “unfair exchange” as the proposed replacement land is some distance away and no different from fields which adjoin it.