Latest News

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update

October 14, 2020

We thank you for visiting our website and hope that you remain safe and well. Our office is only partially staffed at the moment, so responding to telephone calls or postal enquiries will take a little longer than usual, however you will find plenty of information and advice on this website, and we can readily…

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Supreme Court overrides rights of local communities on village greens

December 12, 2019

We have expressed deep sympathy for our members, Janine Bebbington and the Moorside Fields Community Group in Lancaster, following the Supreme Court judgment(1) on 11 December rejecting the registration of the fields as a village green.  See our summary of the judgment here. This will have a huge impact on the ability of local communities…

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Unhappy trigger

June 11, 2019

Our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook considers the wider implications of a recent court of appeal judgment on greens.  Town and village greens have been dealt a further body-blow. The appeal court has outlawed the registration of land which is within a ‘settlement boundary’ as a green.  Ever since the egregious Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013…

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Consent refused for iron railings on Nottinghamshire common

June 6, 2019

We are delighted that the environment secretary has rejected a retrospective application for fencing on Hanging Hill Lane common, Normanton-on-Trent.   The common is a long strip, consisting of Hanging Hill Lane and a broad verge on either side. The verge is used by walkers and for access to adjoining fields. The one-metre-high iron railings…

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New Developments Must Provide Open Space

February 12, 2019

We have called for new developments to be designed to include protected open space for recreation.  We were responding to the consultation on Net Gain from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Picnic on Nutsford Vale, Manchester The society argues that such open spaces should have long-term protection, and that they should be…

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25-Year Environment Plan Evasive About People’s Enjoyment Of The Outdoors

January 23, 2019

We have criticised the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for being vague about how it will measure its success in encouraging people to benefit from the natural environment. The society has responded to Defra’s consultation on measuring environmental change through its 25-year environment plan which was published in January 2018. In the…

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Kendal’s New Road Common Should Be Green Space Not Car Park

January 16, 2019

We have objected to plans to reinstate an unlawful car park on New Road Common, Kendal in Cumbria. Mr David Fone has applied to the Secretary of State for Environment, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, for consent for works on common land. Mr Fone is a private individual and the land is…

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Dismay At Warcop Commons Recommendation

November 29, 2018

We are deeply dismayed by the inspector’s recommendation to deregister the extensive Warcop commons, in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  This follows a public inquiry at which we appeared as an objector with legal representation.  The inspector recommends Cumbria County Council to approve the deregistration of most of Burton, Hilton and Murton…

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Pulling The Trigger On Village Greens

October 25, 2018

Cooper Estates Strategic Land Ltd v Wiltshire Council and Richard Gosnell and Royal Wootton Bassett Town Council. This is the first court case to pronounce on the meaning of ‘trigger events’ (as defined in section 15C of, and schedule 1A to, the Commons Act 2006) and has worrying implications. Such an event, which includes the…

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Fight to stop major development at Harrow School

October 3, 2018

We have objected to Harrow School’s appeal against the refusal of planning permission for a new science building and sports hall. The society, which is concerned to protect public paths and open spaces, considers that the development would have a significant impact on Metropolitan Open Land and the attractive, historic landscape of the area, as…

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