Commons Act 2006 Part 1 (Registration) Implementation in England’s pioneer areas and Wales

The Open Spaces Society has been defending open spaces in England and Wales since 1865.

This fact sheet covers the following information about the Commons Act 2006 Part 1 (Registration) implementation in England's pioneer areas and Wales. The content was partially revised as at
4 May 2017 and will be further amended to reflect the revised regulations in Wales in due course.
.

This fact sheet is brought to you by the Open Spaces Society - We campaign for stronger protection for common land, village greens, open spaces, and public paths in England and Wales, and for greater opportunities for everyone to enjoy them. As a small charity, memberships are vital to our ability to continue to support more than 600 cases annually helping individuals, groups and communities to save their local green spaces and paths. Individual membership costs £3/month. Join us today.

Introduction

A pioneer implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 commenced in the areas covered by seven commons registration authorities in England on 1 October 2008
• Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
• Cornwall County Council
• Devon County Council
• County of Herefordshire District Council
• Hertfordshire County Council
• Kent County Council
• Lancashire County Council
and from 1 December 2014
• Cumbria County Council
• North Yorkshire County Council

and from 5 May 2017
• Wales – partial implementation of Part 1 to include section 19 (correction) and schedule 2 (non-registration or mistaken registration)

Transitional period in England
The pilot scheme begins with a three-year transitional application period which provides the first opportunity for correction or rectification of mistakes in the registers. During this period, 14 December 2014 until 14 December 2017 for Cumbria and North Yorkshire, applications can be made free of charge to update the commons registers to record events since 1970 which have not yet been registered. The transitional period for the other seven areas has now expired (although it is still possible, for a fee, to apply to record historic events in these seven areas).

Any of the events below, so long as they took place after the land and rights of common were provisionally registered, and before the start of the transitional application period, may be registered:
• the creation, surrender, variation, apportionment, severance, transfer or
extinguishment of a right of common,
• legal events affecting registered land or registered rights of common, ie a
compulsory purchase order, and the giving of any land in exchange,
• failure to register any qualifying events during the transitional application period may result in:
o a fee being payable for any application made after the end of the transitional period,
o refusal to register after the end of the transitional period, if it would be unfair to grant the application as a result of any reliance placed on the registers since the end of the period,
o the extinguishment of any unregistered rights of common, or the revival of any rights previously surrendered or extinguished.

Applications to amend the registers

Correction of mistakes: England
From 15 December 2014 section 19(2)(a) of and paragraphs 6–9 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006 took effect throughout England to allow for the correction of mistakes made by the authority and the removal of wrongly registered common land or town or village green.

Applications must be made on the relevant form (as set out in the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014).

The forms are available from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website,

We set out below who may apply in which circumstances. Guidance notes for applicants and the regulations are available from the Defra website and on our website.

Correction of mistakes: Wales

From 5 May 2017 section 19 of and paragraphs 6–9 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006 took effect throughout Wales to allow for the correction of mistakes made by the authority and the removal of wrongly registered common land or town/village greens.

Applications must be made on the relevant form by people who are entitled to apply (as set out in the Commons Act 2006 (Corrections, Non-Registration or Mistaken Registration) (Wales) Regulations 2017.

Guidance notes and forms for applications and the regulations are available from the Welsh Government website.

Correcting the register (section 19)
Applications may be made to correct mistakes in the following circumstances:
• the registration authority made a mistake when making or amending an entry in the register (section 19 (2)(a)),
• correcting mistakes not affecting land or quantification of rights (section 19 (2)(b)),
• removing a duplicate entry (section 19 (2)(c)),
• updating the name and address in an entry (section 19 (2)(d)),
• accretion or diluvion (section 19 (2)(e)).

Rectifying mistakes made under the Commons Registration Act 1965 (schedule 2)
Application can be made to rectify mistakes made during the registration of land
under the 1965 act, as follows:
• land that was designated as common land or village green by statute but was not registered (schedule 2, paras 2 and 3),
• waste land of a manor that was registered as common land under the 1965 act but the registration was cancelled or voided in certain circumstances (schedule 2, para 4). See below for details,
• certain wrongly registered common land or greens (schedule 2, para 7 or 9),
• buildings or curtilage wrongly registered as common land or greens (schedule 2, para 6 or 8)

What information do I need?

If you are applying to register or deregister land under any provision in schedule 2 you will be required to show, in your application, details of the provisional registration of the land under the 1965 act. You can find out whether the land was provisionally registered, whether the provisional registration was confirmed or cancelled, the land contained in any registration, and any relevant dates, by referring to the commons registers and records held by each registration authority, and open to public inspection (in England) under section 20 of the Commons Act 2006.
You will need to supply the following:
• your name, address and telephone number,
• the register unit number (or the name or location of the common or village
green),
• the name of the parish or district,
• the rights entry number (if you require details about particular rights).

Ownership
You may need to provide evidence of ownership or serve a notice on the owner. To obtain information you can apply to the appropriate District Land Registry to obtain an official copy of the register and plan relating to a title. It is also possible to search the Land Registry’s index map to see whether or not land has a registered title. See the Land Registry’s website which also gives details of fees payable. You should not rely on ownership information contained in the ownership section of the commons registers, unless the title is not registered in the Land Registry.

Maps
You will usually need to supply a map to support your application. The map must be an Ordnance Survey map, with a scale of at least 1:2,500 to show any land you want to add to or remove from the register, unless the land is wholly or predominately moorland in which case you may use a map with a scale of at least 1:10,560.

For other applications, such as identifying land to which a right of common is attached, or to identify a neighbourhood within a locality (section 15 Village Green Applications) you must use a map of at least 1:10,560. You can find out how to obtain an Ordnance Survey maps on their website.

Fees
There is no charge for inspection of the registers or other records. You can make copies using a camera, public photocopying machine or tracing paper, or by transcription, and no fee is payable. If you ask the registration authority to give you copies of the register it may charge a fee. It is usually sensible to arrange an appointment.

Requirements for applications under schedule 2 paras 2 to 5 to correct
mistakes by adding land to or removing land from the register.
Anyone can apply. The application must include:
• evidence of which criteria (in paras 2, 3, 4 or 5) are being met,
• if applying under para 2 or 3, a copy of the enactment or scheme by which the land is regulated or allotted (including any map referred to in it) (see para 4.5.5 of Defra’s guidance to applicants),
• if applying under para 2 or 3, and the application seeks to register land covered by a building (or curtilage of a building), the consent of the owner (para 14 of schedule 4 to the 2014 regulations),
• a map.

There is no fee (schedule 5 to the 2014 regulations). You will be required to send a
notice to the owner or any occupier or lessee of the land.

Requirements for applications under schedule 2 paragraphs 6 to 9 to
deregister land or buildings
Anyone can apply. The application must include:
• evidence of which criteria (in para 6, 7, 8 or 9) are being met (regulation
14(6)),
• fee: determined by registration authorities,
• a map.
You will be required to send a notice to the owner or any occupier or lessee of the land.

Requirements for applications under section 19 correcting the register
Anyone can apply. The application must include:
• a statement of purpose (ie whether it is under section 19(2)(a), (b), (c), (d) or (e)),
• the register unit and, where applicable, the register entry to be amended,
• evidence of the mistake which the application seeks to correct,
• a description of the amendment required to be made to the registers (reg 14 (11)),
• a map.
Fees are payable under section 19(2)(b), (c), (d) and (e). You will be required to send a notice to the owner of any affected land.

Fees
You may need to send a fee with your application. Fees may be set by the registration authority. You should check the fee with the commons registration officer before you send your application. Fees are not refundable, even if you decide to withdraw your application. There is no fee for certain applications, in general those where there is a wider public interest.

Appendix 1

Definition of terms
Creation of new rights (section 6)
It is possible to register new rights of common over unregistered or registered land provided the right is created by express grant and is attached to land. A right cannot be created by prescription (but it is possible that rights acquired by prescription before the commencement of the transitional period may be eligible for registration).

Variation of rights (section 7)
Existing rights of common may be varied in accordance with the regulations. A right may be varied if:
• new land replaces some or all of the existing land over which the right was exercisable,
• new land is added to the existing land over which the right is exercisable,
• there is some other alteration to the right (eg if a right to graze ten cattle is amended to become a right to graze 60 sheep).

Severance of rights (section 9 and schedule 1, para 3)
There are three ways a right may be severed from land to which it is attached:
• transferred permanently to Natural England or a commons council,
• temporarily severed or leased in accordance with requirements specified by order made by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (England)
• transferred permanently to a third party where severance in relation to that common is authorised by order made by the Secretary of State.
Attachment of rights held in gross to land (section 10)
The owner of a right held in gross can apply to attach the right to land. The owner or person entitled to occupy the land must consent to the application. The result will be a right of common which is attached to the land specified in the application.

Re-allocation of rights attached to land (section 11)
Application may be made to ‘concentrate’ a right of common attached to a dominant tenement (the land to which the benefit of a right is attached) onto a part of that tenement where another part of the same tenement is to be developed for non-agricultural use.

Transfer of rights held in gross (section 12)
Application may be made (as now) to register the transfer of a right held in gross.

Statutory disposition (section 14)
Application may be made, or notice given, to amend the register in consequence of a statutory disposition, such as an exchange of land under a compulsory purchase order.

Registration of town and village greens (section 15)
Application may be made to register land as a town or village green under section 15. The applicant must show, as now, that the land in question was used ‘as of right’ by a significant number of local inhabitants for lawful sports and pastimes for at least 20 years (see Getting Greens Registered, Open Spaces Society 2007).

Accretion or diluvion (section 19 (2)(e))
Where the boundaries have changed because of the natural displacement of a river of sea shore.

Appendix 2

To obtain further information or to inspect the registers, please contact the following.
English pioneer authorities

Blackburn with Darwen
Commons Registration Officer
Commons and Greens
Development Control
Town Hall
Blackburn
BB1 7DY
Tel: 01254 585242
E-mail: commonsandgreens@blackburn.gov.uk
Website

Cornwall
Common land and towns and village greens
Commons and Greens Office
Circuit House
Truro
TR1 1DT
Tel: 01872 224773
Email: commonsandgreens@cornwall.gov.uk
Website

Cumbria
Commons Registration Service
Cumbria County Council
Lady Gillford's House
Petteril Bank Road
Carlisle
CA1 3AJ
Tel: 01228 221026
Email: commons.registration@cumbria.gov.uk
Website

Devon
Devon County Council
Land Charges
Devon County Council
G15 County Hall
Topsham Road
Exeter
EX2 4QD
Tel: 01392 382937
Email commons@devon.gov.uk
Website

Herefordshire
Commons Registration Office
Herefordshire Council
PO Box 4
Plough Lane
Hereford
HR4 0XH
Tel: 01432 261991
Email: commonsregistration@herefordshire.gov.uk
Website

Hertfordshire
Commons Registration Officer
Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall
Pegs Lane
Hertford
SG13 8DE
Tel: 01992 555279
Email: commons&greens@hertscc.gov.uk
Website

Kent
Commons Registration Officer
Kent County Council
Countryside Access Service
Invicta House
County Hall
Maidstone
ME14 1XX
Tel: 0845 3450210
E-mail: commons.villagegreens@kent.gov.uk
Website

Lancashire
Commons Registration Authority
County Secretary and Solicitor's Group (Ref: LSG4)
Lancashire County Council
P.O. Box 78
County Hall
Preston
PR1 8XJ
Tel: (01772) 530541
Email: commonsandgreens@lancashire.gov.uk
Website

Cumbria
Commons Registration Service
Cumbria County Council
Lady Gillford's House
Petteril Bank Road
Carlisle
CA1 3AJ
Tel: 01228 221026
Email: commons.registration@cumbria.gov.uk
Website

North Yorkshire
Common Registration
Highways North Yorkshire
County Hall
Northallerton
North Yorkshire
DL7 8AH
Tel: 0845 8727374
Email: commons.registration@northyorks.gov.uk
Website

Welsh Registration Authorities

There are 22 registration authorities in Wales and contact details are available here.

Appendix 3

Useful information
Commons Act 2006

Commons Act 2006 explanatory notes

Commons commissioners’ decisions
Available from the website of the Association of Commons Registration Authorities

Our Common Land, the law and history of common land and village greens, by Paul Clayden, sixth edition, 2007 (the Open Spaces Society, £19 to members, £20 to non-members)
available here

Open Spaces Society’s factsheet ‘new opportunity to rescue lost commons’

Cornwall Commons reregistration

Maps
• Digital historical OS maps are available from Landmark Information Group

• Certain statutory and other datasets, including the ‘moorland’ map here

• Ownership: here

Wales

• Common land

For information and queries on the Commons Act 2006 contact:
The Animal Policy Delivery Branch
1st Floor
Welsh Government
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ
E-mail: commonsact2006@wales.gsi.gov.uk
Website

Regulations and guidance

Regulations and guidance

 

Further resources about Commons Act 2006 Part 1 (Registration) Implementation in England’s pioneer areas and Wales

  • Commons Act

    The Commons Act 2006 is arranged in five parts: registration, management,  works, miscellaneous, finally supplementary and general.

  • Common land training course

    Our full-day training course will provides an introduction to commons and why they are important, including relevant legislation.

  • How to take action against unlawful encroachments and works

    This fact sheet tells you how to protect your common from unlawful encroachments and works in England.

  • Vehicular access across Common Land and Town or Village Greens

    This provides guidance about vehicular access across common land and town or village greens following the repeal of section 68 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

  • Works on common land in Wales

    A practical guide for those wishing to carry out a lawful operation on a common and those who want to defend a common against unlawful or undesirable operations in Wales.

  • A Common Purpose Guide

    Download the Foundation for Common Land guidance on how to engage with local communities for those contemplating management on common land.

  • An approach to the re-registration of commons

    Our commons re-registration officer Dr Frances Kerner shares our approach to research and application preparation

  • A commons conference campanion

    The Countryside and Community Research Institute of Gloucester University (CCRI) has published a Commons e-book

  • DIY guide to registering lost commons

    The Commons Act 2006 provides a new, time-limited, opportunity for you to rescue some of those commons which failed to be registered under the Commons

  • Buildings, fences and other works on common land in England

    A practical guide for those wishing to carry out a lawful operation on a common and those who want to defend a common against unlawful or undesirable operations.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Commons

    Frequently asked questions about commons

  • Unclaimed land and adverse possession

    Unclaimed land and adverse possession: protecting commons and other open spaces with no known owner

  • Finding common ground

    Integrating local and national interests on commons: guidance for assessing the community value of common land

  • New opportunity to register lost commons

    The Commons Act 2006 provides a new, time-limited, opportunity for you to rescue some of those commons which failed to be registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965.

0 Shares