A LOCAL councillor who will stand as an Independent Candidate at the next General Election wants to see our much-loved play parks, recreation grounds and other popular open spaces given the same legal protection as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

“We all came to appreciate the great outdoors a lot more during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Cllr Gavin Heathcote. “Local parks and open spaces became ‘go to’ havens where we could breathe in some much-needed fresh air.”

With known cases around the UK of housing developers bulldozing over children’s play parks and green spaces, Cllr Heathcote wants them to be given the same protection in law as AONBs.

Gavin added: “At present, the Open Spaces Act of 1906 does give some level of protection to the parks and open spaces, but it certainly isn’t enough.”

The UK’s 46 designated AONBs are given the highest protection in law under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. They can only be built on under the most extreme circumstances.

Cllr Heathcote is keen to hear from residents concerned about building developments in their area. He can be contacted by emailing [email protected]

Readers can keep up-to-date with Gavin Heathcote’s run for parliament on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GavinForFES