Coastal land in Cornwall registered as common 

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We welcome Cornwall Council’s decision to grant two applications to register common land on the north coast of Cornwall. One of the applications was made by the society and the other by Tomas Hill who has a keen interest in common land. 

View of the newly registered common from just north of Porthtowan. Credit: Landman LLP.

The land, which is owned by the National Trust, comprises just over 170 hectares of grass and scrub stretching from Newdowns Head all the way round the coast to just north of Porthtowan beach, about two kilometres west of St Agnes. 

In 1970, the Ramblers’ Association made an application to register the land as common.  Following objections, it was agreed among the parties to cancel the provisional registration of the land, but there was no opportunity for wider public engagement. 

However, part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 reopened the opportunity to rescue lost commons which were excluded from registration in these circumstances.  Under paragraph 4 of schedule 2 to the 2006 Act the land became eligible for re-registration.  The applications made by the society and Tomas Hill showed that the land remains waste land of a manor, so that once again it can be registered as common land—this time for good. 

Says Frances Kerner, the Open Spaces Society’s commons re-registration officer: ‘While the land is already afforded the protection of ownership by the National Trust, registration as common confers an additional layer of protection. We thank the National Trust for recognising that the land meets the criteria for registration; this has enabled the unsatisfactory outcome of over 40 years ago to be put right.’ 

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