1,000 signatures reached
To: Bristol City Council
Remove Cotham School’s illegal fence at Stoke Lodge Village Green
We call on Bristol City Council to:
- dismiss Cotham School’s obviously false claim that the fence is not on registered land
- recognise once and for all the fact that the fence is located within, encroaches on, and interrupts use and enjoyment of, the land and that by law it is therefore a public nuisance
- comply with its statutory duty as local authority to ensure the removal of this public nuisance by requiring Cotham School to remove the fence, and by prosecution if required
- defend the interests of the citizens of Bristol by requiring its tenant to comply with the lease and the law, instead of allowing this pointless and unlawful fence to remain on land which is not being used or maintained by the school.
Why is this important?
After a long legal fight, Stoke Lodge Playing Fields were registered as a Town or Village Green (TVG) on 22 August 2023. By law, it is a public nuisance and a criminal offence to enclose, encroach on or interrupt the use and enjoyment of a TVG.
However, Cotham School is refusing to remove the fence and is even claiming that it is not on TVG land! A quick look at the registered map and Google maps shows what a blatant lie this is. It is irrelevant that 5 pedestrian gates in a 1.5km fence are now open; the whole fence interrupts use and enjoyment of the land which is now a legal right for Bristol citizens. It is irrelevant that the school claims it intends to challenge registration - the law says this fence is illegal NOW. Cotham School has found alternative facilities for PE and has announced that it intends to cease maintaining the land. The fence serves no purpose and its removal is clearly in the public interest of the people of Bristol.
Thousands of Bristol Citizens have a right to access and uninterrupted use of this Village Green. There are over 1,400 meters of fencing that enclose and sit on our village green - over a mile of illegal fencing. Across the UK, Councils protect thousands of Village Greens. If Bristol City Council don't do the same on their own land - why not ?
How it will be delivered