Inquiry over Branksome recreation ground town green bid

Branksome Rec
Image caption The ground is used by the public for recreational and leisure uses

A public inquiry is to be held into whether a recreation ground in Dorset is to be given town green status.

Campaigners fought last year to stop Poole Town Football Club building a 160-seat stadium at Branksome rec, which is owned by the council.

The plan was thrown out by councillors worried about the loss of open space and harm to the character of the area.

An inquiry will be held over the town green bid with a report going to the council recommending a decision.

'Act impartially'

Town green status would protect the ground, which is used for recreational and leisure purposes, from development.

The Borough of Poole Council put two options to councillors, either a public inquiry or the authority's licensing sub-committe could decide.

After consultation, the first option was decided on as members were "keen for there to be an open and transparent process".

Frank Wenzel, licensing officer, said: "The council must act impartially where there is a conflict of interest.

"The decision made... maintains this impartiality and ensures that all parties to the application will have the opportunity to present their evidence to an independent body before a decision is made by the licensing sub-committee."

The application has been put forward on behalf of the Branksome Recreation Action Group and will go to a public inquiry.

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