Campaigners want commons to become public property

Times Technology Expert Haydon Kirby of Infinity

A petition signed by nearly 900 people has called for Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons to be preserved for future generations and placed into public ownership.

Terry Cload, the green energy consultant behind the plea, said it was important the two environmental ‘jewels of the town’ remained free from commercial development.

However, owners Targetfollow have previously rejected an offer for the land to be purchased for public use. The property group bought the site as part of a deal that included The Pantiles for a reported £11million.

Mr Cload said: “I have had a fantastic response in just a short period of time since starting the petition in November. There were a lot of young people worried about the future of these green jewels of the town.”

Chris Gurr, of Friends of Tunbridge Wells and Rusthall Commons, said the group was still attempting discussions with Targetfollow on the potential sale of the commons.

The borough council said that it welcomed petitions on community issues and confirmed that any correspondence with more than 800 signatures would receive a response from a senior officer.

The council has previously stated that it would not consider buying the commons.

Targetfollow confirmed the commons are not on the market.

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