Landowner statements and the threat to town and village greens in Wales

On 22 October 2018, Wales’s greens suffered a blow, when provisions of the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 took effect. Now you must apply to register land as a green within two years of a landowner’s challenge to your use of the land for informal recreation.

The right to recreational use of an open space by local people now needs to be defended within two years of a new landowner statement

Under section 15A of the Commons Act 2006, a landowner can deposit a statement and map which bring to an end any period of recreational use of the land which was ‘as of right’, ie without secrecy, force or permission. Once such a statement is deposited with the commons registration authority, local people have only two years in which to apply for village green status.

The notice of challenge to use of a green must be published on the commons registration authority’s website for at least 60 days, and posted at or near at least one entry point to the land for the same period. However, if the site notices are removed, there is no requirement to replace them, so people could easily not know that their use was being challenged.

The landowner must deposit a further statement and map within 20 years.

How do I find out about landowner statements that may threaten my local open space?

Registration authorities hold a register of landowner statements and must serve notice by email on anyone who has asked to be informed. The register must be kept in electronic and paper form. The society has written to all the registration authorities to ask to be notified. You too should contact your registration authority if you wish to be notified of any landowner statements.

How can I keep a step ahead of landowner plans to restrict access?

You should gather evidence of use and submit an application to register land which the public has used as of right for 20+ years before the landowner deposits a statement, otherwise you will have little time in which to do this.

Further resources about landowner statements in Wales

  • Town and village greens FAQ

    Answers to frequently asked questions about town and village green registration, protection, encroachment and enjoyment.

  • Voluntary registration/dedication of land as a town or village green

    Dedicate land voluntarily as a town or village green by applying to have it included in the register of town and village greens.

  • Managing and protecting TVG

    Explains Defra's view on issues related to the management and protection of TVG which have been recorded in the register .

  • Welsh government guidance registration of land as a town or village green

    Information and guidance on registering land as a town or village green in Wales.

  • Guidance on making a successful green application

    These guidance notes have kindly been prepared by Friends of Coombe Wood who successfully registered a green in 2013.

  • How to register a town or village green

    A walk-through of the process to reigister land as a town or village green in England or Wales.

  • Town or Village Green claimants preparation for and participation in public inquiries

    We look at matters that apply to the period in a green claim process after all the evidence has been gathered, the claim has been submitted and accepted, all subsequent exchanges have been concluded and the registration authority is arranging to hold a public inquiry.

  • Getting Greens Registered

    Download our Getting Greens Registered PDF - a step-by-step guide on how to go about applying for Village Green registration.

  • Protecting commons, greens and open spaces training course

    Learn the fundamentals on this comprehensive course to include definitions, registration/dedication, protection and management.

  • Protecting village greens

    Law guiding the protection of town and village greens.