In many respects, a town or village green is something often associated with Britain. The idea was that this area gave people their own space to enjoy leisure time. In the year 2013, the Growth and Infrastructure Act was brought in, offering significant changes to the 2006 Commons Act. It is important to be aware of these rules, as it will affect whether or not you can apply for an area to be used as a town or village green, or in some cases if the area was traditionally used that way whether or not it can continue to be used in that way.
Legally, anyone can apply for town or village green status on a piece of land that has traditionally been used for sport or leisure (for at least 20 years). The rules can differ depending on the county you are based (these are known as “pioneer” areas including Cornwall, Cumbria, Hertfordshire, and North Yorkshire).
Essentially the idea is that these greens will be protected and have to be considered when planning new houses, business premises, and so forth. This is similar to the rules around Green Belt areas, preventing environmental damage (or in this instance, protecting both the environment and the social benefits of a shared communal space).
With the exceptional “pioneer” areas, there have been changes to how people apply for the green status, so this should be checked before making an application. There are different forms for both, so you should check with your local authority before making the application. This is also important because the green needs to be registered with the correct local authority.
Another aspect is deadlines. When applying, you have to stick with the deadlines set as they are not flexible. An application should also clearly show on a map the area being used if it is a new application, or in the case of an established green area, you should quote the register unit number.
It is also important to including evidence for your claim, as well as a summary. In some cases, the local authority may have to arrange a hearing in order to determine if they will agree to grant your application.
One issue with this particular type of law is that it is quite complex. A lot of the time, courts will be brought in to decide whether or not a piece of land can be used as a green.
This is why it is important before pursuing a claim. At Larcomes, we believe in providing experienced legal professionals and the resources necessary to pursue a claim, as well as the customer service to guide you through the process and give you a realistic assessment of whether your claim will be successful or not.
If you would like to discuss a village or town application, we will be happy to go over this with you. Contact us today so we can direct you to one of our experienced professionals.