Towns and village greens: new amendments signal good news for developers

In the October 2012 article ‘Not so unlucky section 13’, Walker Morris discussed changes to the town and village green (TVG) registration application process that will take effect when the Growth and Infrastructure Bill becomes law this year. Recent amendments, proposed in the House of Lords, promise more reassurance for developers, with restrictive transitional provisions in the original reform proposals being relaxed.

Users of land may apply for registration of land as a TVG under section 15 of the Commons Act 2006. The requirements are that a significant number of local inhabitants have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years and that they continue to do so at the time of the application.

The Bill seeks to reform the TVG process and remove some of the confusing idiosyncrasies of the present regime.  It intends, according to Defra, to ensure that “communities that wish to see land developed in their areas will no longer be overruled by an abuse of town and village green legislation”.  The reforms are, in short, good news for developers and landowners as they seek to address the uncertainty and potentially stifling effect of TVG registrations on development…

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