Woodlands in Chiswell Green to remain assets of community value

Park Wood, Chiswell Green, retains its ACV status

Park Wood, Chiswell Green, retains its ACV status - Credit: Archant

An appeal against the decision to list a pair of woodlands in Chiswell Green as assets of community value (ACV) has been dismissed.

Following a nomination by St Stephen Parish Council and local residents, Scrubbs Wood and Park Wood were listed as ACVs in 2013, but landowners CP Holdings requested reviews of each decision.

After hearing evidence from both sides, St Albans district council voted last week to dismiss CP Holdings’ appeal and the woodlands’ ACV status was retained.

Cllr John Bell, a parish councillor for Chiswell Green, said: “It is clear that these areas of woodland are highly valued by members of the local community.

“They have both been accessible to the public for many years and we hope that this situation does not change, however, if the woods ever did come up for sale this registration at least gives us notice of the sale and allows us breathing space to make a bid for them.”

Now that the woodlands are listed as ACVs, the community are given first refusal should CP Holdings decide to sell.

Under those circumstances, members of the community would then have a period of six months to raise the funds and make an offer, although CP Holdings would have no obligation to accept their offer.

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Cllr Bell, who spoke on behalf of the parish council at the hearing, said that the woods had been used for recreational walking, jogging, cycling, dog walking, photography, appreciating the bluebells and other flora and fauna, and, in the case of Park Wood, recreational horse riding.

Neighbouring Hanstead Wood was among the woodlands granted ACV status in 2013, but was not subject to an appeal.