The proposed changes under the Government’s Growth and Infrastructure Bill 2012-13 are due to come into effect in the summer of this year. The Bill which contains reforms to the law for registering new town and village greens should afford some much needed protection to property developers who expend considerable time, effort and cash in seeking planning permission.
Clare Hallett, Commercial Property Associate, says “It has become common practice of late, that residents who are opposed to development in their area seek registration of the land in question as a village green and the Government propose to place time limits and restrictions on when such applications can be made.”
Most village greens were registered in the late 1960’s under the Commons Registration Act 1965, but anyone can apply today under Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 to register land as a green if it has been used by local people ‘as of right’ (that is, without permission, force or secrecy) for at least twenty years.
Under the new law it will no longer be possible to apply to register land as a village green if an application to develop it has been made and granted, or a planning application has been granted. Similarly, applications will also be denied if the land has been made available by the local planning authority for use under a local or neighbourhood plan. A fee is to become payable for an application to register land as a village green although previously it was free. The amount is yet to be decided but is thought to be less than £1,000. These changes to the law will place the onus on local communities to register their rights to town and village greens in a timely manner.
For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Clare or a member of her team will be happy to discuss any questions you may have.