Leisure

May 7th, 2013

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill has received the Royal Assent (“the 2013 Act”).  Section 16 of the 2013 Act will amend the law on the registration of new town and village greens under Section 15(1) of the Commons Act 2006 (“the 2006 Act”).  It does this by inserting new provisions –Section 15C and Schedule 1A into the 2006 Act – which exclude the right to apply to register land as a green when any one of a number of events, known as ‘trigger events’, have occurred within the planning system in relation to that land. The trigger events are prescribed by Schedule 1A to the Commons Act 2006. For example, where an application for planning permission is first publicised then the right to apply to register that land as a green is excluded. Decisions regarding whether land should be developed or not will be taken within the planning process.

The new Section 15C(2) of the Commons Act 2006 provides for ‘terminating events’, which are also set out in new Schedule 1A to that Act. If a terminating event occurs in relation to the land in question, then the right to apply for registration of a green under Section 15(1) is again exercisable. For example, if the right to apply to register land has been excluded because an application for planning permission has been publicised, the right to apply for registration of the land as a green again becomes exercisable if planning permission is refused and all means of challenging that refusal have run their course.

The change takes effect from 25 April 2013, and affects applications under Section 15(1) of the Commons Act 2006 made on or after that date.  Applications made before that date are unaffected.

The 2013 Act makes two other amendments directly related to the law on town and village greens.  First, Section 14 of the 2013 Act amends Section 15(3)(c) of the 2006 Act, which  applies where recreational use of land as of right has ceased before an application is made.  This change will come into force on a date to be appointed by Order. Second, there is the introduction of Landowner Statements, which bring to an end recreational use as of right on the land to which the Statement relates, through new Sections 15A and 15B of the Commons Act 2006 (as inserted by Section 15 of the 2013 Act). Section 15A makes provision for the deposit of Landowner Statements as well as accompanying maps.  Section 15B provides for certain information relating to such deposits to be recorded on a publicly available register.  These provisions will come into force on a date to be appointed by Order, and will be supported by Regulations.

DEFRA has issued Interim Guidance to Commons Registration Authorities on Section 15C of the Commons Act 2006, the exclusion of the right to apply under Section 15(1) to register new greens.

Comments are closed.