Sunningwell Village Green is a 10.22 acre site (outlined in red on the plan below) located in the centre of the village adjacent to St. Leonards Church. It is there for the benefit and recreation of the residents of the Parish of Sunningwell and its use as a village green was registered on the 28th September 1999 under unit number VG121 following a House of Lords case v Oxfordshire County Council Respondents) and Sunningwell Parish Council (Appellants) on the 14th April 1999.
The Village Green is now managed and administered by Sunningwell Parish Council through a “Policies and Procedures” document signed on the 27th November 2013.
A set of “Aims and Objectives” were approved on the 26th September 2012 by the Parish Council.
2.325 acres at the south western corner of the Village Green (hatched green on the attached plan) have been designated as an ecological and wildlife habitat in order to promote and encourage the growth of wild flowers and establishment of wild life such as the Marbled White, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral butterflies that continue to inhabit this area of the Village Green.
The Village Green is currently owned by the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance, but its use as a registered green comes under the Commons Registration Act of 1965 and the more recent legislation of the Commons Act 2006 and the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.
For it to have become a registered Village Green, it was required to be proved that the Green had been used as follows;
- for lawful sports and pastimes such as dog walking and family activities including such uses as fetes and bird watching;
- for its lawful purpose for a period of at least 20 years;
- “as of right”and therefore without the need for permission of the owners;
- by local residents.
It is important that we maintain the criteria under which the Village Green was established and that the residents of Sunningwell Parish continue to regularly use and enjoy it.
More recently, the Village Green has been the location for the Parish fireworks night in November 2015 which was attended by over 350 people from across the Parish, as well as carol singing in December 2015. Further events are planned to include a Hog roast and Parish fete to include a celebration of the Queens 90th birthday on Sunday the 12th June 2016,the annual fireworks party in November and carol singing in December 2016.
The Parish Council has installed new gates and fencing at both entrances to the Village Green, provided 5 wooden benches, all of which have been sponsored by local families, and have installed two Village Green signs and will in due course be installing notice boards giving information on the village green.
For further information on the Sunningwell Parish Village Green, please contact the Parish Clerk.