Veale Wasbrough Vizards

UK 200 2014 position: 93

Further chinks in the armour of town and village green status

By Polly Reynolds

The Supreme Court ruling in Adamson v Paddico; Taylor v Betterment Properties [2014] UKSC 7 has clarified that a lapse of time between registration of a town or village green (TVG) and application for rectification of the register is, on its own, an insufficient ground for opposing rectification. This judgment overturns a 2012 Court of Appeal ruling that a delay in seeking de-registration made it unjust to remove TVG status.

On what basis can a TVG be registered? The law enabling the registration of TVGs is now largely contained in the Commons Act 2006. To be registrable as a TVG, the land must have been used ‘as of right’ by a significant number of inhabitants of the local community for lawful sports and pastimes for 20 years or more. The Registration Authority for the area retains the register of TVGs and this is conclusive evidence of the land’s status.

How can the register be rectified? Under section 16 of the act, a landowner can apply to de-register a TVG if it is able to arrange for another piece of suitable replacement land to be registered as a TVG. In most cases, this will not be an option for landowners and prospective developers…

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