Cornish common reclaimed

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Carrine Common, near Kea, south of Truro in Cornwall has been reclaimed as registered common land, using legislation which is being pioneered in Cornwall (part 1 of the Commons Act 2006).

Following a hearing in January 2012, planning inspector Mr Barney Grimshaw ruled that the land should be recorded on the commons register.

Carrine Common covers approximately 17 hectares.  The land is open heathland with gorse, brambles and a few scattered trees.  It was recorded as access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, giving the public the right to walk over it.

The applicant, Mr Tomas Hill, argued that the land was part of a manor.  It was still open, uncultivated and unoccupied.  Therefore it complied with the criteria to enable it to be registered as common land.

The landowner, the Tregothnan Estate, opposed the application, claiming that the land did not have the character of waste land, having been occupied and cultivated over a considerable period.  However, the inspector disagreed, and on his visits noted that the land was open and uncultivated, with no evidence of any recent active management.

We congratulate Mr Hill for his efforts in getting this land placed on the commons register.  This ensures that the public’s rights to use and enjoy it are safeguarded for all time, and that the land has additional protection from development, since any works here will need the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, in addition to any planning permission.

We urge everyone with an interest in common land to research whether there is land in Cornwall and the other pioneer areas which was wrongly omitted from registration 40 years ago, and which is eligible for registration now.  The Open Spaces Society can help with the process.

Download our DIY guide to registering lost commons here.

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