Bid to protect Downs and Meadows
BABBACOMBE Downs and Torre Abbey Meadows could get the same protection from development being proposed for Paignton Green.
Torbay Council has agreed a 100-year covenant with local residents to protect the Green from permanent development.
Residents in Blatchcombe, Clifton with Maidenway, Goodrington with Roselands, Preston and Roundham with Hyde would have the right to a referendum if any permanent structure is proposed.
A majority would have to vote in favour of development for it to proceed.
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It follows a failed bid to get it protected as a village green.
Deputy mayor David Thomas said the new covenant would allow temporary structures for up to a six-month period.
Village green status could have thrown a question mark over the future of the events like the waste management conference on the green.
Cllr Jenny Faulkner supported it but sought reassurances at the full council meeting that the covenant would be stronger than that at Torre Abbey which had not prevented the building of the base station for the now ceased Hi-Flyer balloon.
She said: "We are in a right mess over that and I wouldn't want to see that happen at Paignton Green."
Cllr Alan Faulkner said there had also been attempts to register Babbacombe Downs as a green but he had been told it would be in the new local plan.
"But I can't see any sign of movement on it," he said.
Cllr Thomas said the covenant with Torre Abbey had been with an individual not all the residents.
Land allocation for Babbacombe Downs would feature in the new neighbourhood plan.
He said: "Once the Paignton Green covenant is completed and we have gone through the legal process then we will roll it out for Torre Abbey Meadow and Babbacombe Downs. This is the first of three."
He said they aimed to complete the process before May, 2015.