Dorset

Developer wants Weymouth town green status removed

Protesters outside the court
Image caption Residents trying to save Curtis Fields held a protest outside the court

Lawyers acting for a property developer have begun putting their case in a High Court battle to change the status of a town green in Weymouth in Dorset.

The area at Markham and Little Francis is classed as a town green and so is protected from new development.

However owner Betterment Properties wants to have the status removed.

Campaigners gathered outside a temporary court in the seaside town as the hearing to re-examine the town green status began earlier.

Betterment Properties has declined to comment until the case has been heard.

Dorset County Council added the land to the register of town greens in 2000.

After the Betterment Properties bought the site in 2004 it successfully challenged the registration, saying the council applied the wrong Act of Parliament when it awarded town green status.

The society for the protection of Markham and Little Francis has been fundraising to have the application for registration re-examined applying the appropriate Act of Parliament.

The case, which is being heard by Mr Mr Justice Morgan, is unusual because it is very rare for the High Court to sit outside a major city.

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