Changes to Cornwall’s common-land register

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We are delighted that a planning inspector has granted two of the society’s applications to restore parts of Cornwall’s commons to the register.  These are Cosgarne or Twelveheads Common near Chacewater and Maenporth Beach at Falmouth.

The grounds of the applications were that both areas should have become finally registered at the time of the Commons Registration Act 1965 but did not.  The applications at that time were contested and referred to the commons commissioner.

In the case of Maenporth Beach the commissioner failed to consider whether the land was waste of the manor not subject to rights of common (for grazing, for example).  At Cosgarne the applicant agreed that the application should be cancelled.

Maenporth Beach, registered as common except for the land above high-watermark. Copyright: N Chadwick under Creative Commons licence.

Maenporth Beach, registered as common except for the land above high-watermark.

There were no objections to the society’s application to re-register Cosgarne, but HRH the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall objected to the registration of Maenporth Beach.

The society demonstrated in both cases that the land does qualify as waste of the manor, and therefore as common land, because it is open, uncultivated and unoccupied.  The planning inspector, Martin Elliott, agreed, overruling the Prince of Wales, but excluded a small part of the beach above the high-water mark.

The society says: ‘We are delighted that these two areas of land have been added to the commons register.  The land is thus protected from development and the public’s right to use the land for recreation is secured.  We are grateful for the support of the Poldice Valley Trust, the landowner, for our application at Cosgarne.’

The Open Spaces Society is running a project to rescue lost commons before the closing date of December 2020 in Cornwall, and in some other counties.

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