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Campaign to save Bushfield Camp takes new twist
12:00pm Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
A CAMPAIGN to save downland on the edge of Winchester from development has taken a fresh twist.
Another challenge has been launched against an application for a hearing to register Bushfield Camp as a village green, weeks after the High Court ruled it should take place.
Bushfield Down Supporters Group believed they had secured a chance to make their case at a two-week public inquiry after a preliminary county council hearing in March 2012.
The Church Commissioners, which owns the site, launched a judicial review into the legality of that decision, which was thrown out by the High Court last month.
But now the Commissioners are taking the challenge to the Court of Appeal, with a date for the hearing still to be arranged.
Barbara Guthrie, of the supporters group, said she expected the Commissioners to take it further and played down the group's chances of another success.
She said: “I think the Commissioners are very determined to win the case on legal technicalities. I don't feel very confident about our chances and I would be amazed if we get through again.
“My feeling is they will take it as far as they can. We've been quite fortunate, to be honest, right the way through and I don't think our luck will hold out much longer.
“But it's been amazing for us to get this far. We have a wonderful group of people who have been extremely helpful and positive about the land and I'm very proud of where we have got to. We have made people sit up and take notice.”
Mrs Guthrie added she would not be able to make a representation at the hearing but that some of the group may attend to show support for the application.
A spokesperson for the Church Commissioners said: “We continue to support sustainable development at the Bushfield Camp site, in line with planning policy. The Commissioners will continue to rebut the suggestion that the application for a town and village green was validly made and are continuing to take robust steps to defend our position in that regard.”
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