Keep River Lawn Green emerge for spring protest in Tonbridge

Pam Mills

THE campaign group Keep River Lawn Green (KRLG) are stepping up their bid to protect River Lawn from development with a series of protests and fundraising events.

The new season of activism coincides with Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council sending out letters yesterday (March 20) to notify potential bidders that it is disposing of the site.

KRLG succeeded in having River Lawn designated as an Asset of Community Value. The letter states: “The council invites any eligible community interest group to express an interest to be treated as a bidder for the asset by April 30.”

After that initial six-week period, recognised bidders have six months to come up with the funds to buy the site, during which the council may not dispose of the land to another buyer.

KRLG Chairman Mark Hood said: “We now have to find serious money or somebody happy to buy the land and keep it undeveloped.

“We do not know at this stage how much we will need to raise apart from it would be hundreds of thousands of pounds,” he added.

The letter coincides with Kent County Council starting a formal assessment of KRLG’s bid to maintain a public right of way across River Lawn.

The council’s Cabinet voted last year to sell the land to private developers. KRLG reacted by filing a formal witness statement regarding usage of the footpaths that criss-cross the site.

The group’s latest campaign will begin on Sunday (March 25) with an event called Spring into Action at Easter. It will hold an Easter egg hunt throughout Barden and River Lawn from 2-4pm.

There will also be a best dressed Easter bonnet or hat competition and egg and spoon, sack and three-legged races for adult and children.

A competition will be held for children to ‘draw your perfect vision of River Lawn’, with a bundle of art supplies for the winning entry.

Mr Hood said: “We want children to let their minds run free and create drawings, painting or even 3D models of how they would love to see River Lawn in the future.”

Visitors are requested to wear green to show their support for the cause.

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