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On 25 April the Growth and Infrastructure Bill received royal assent and is now the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013.
Despite all our efforts, the provisions relating to town and village greens were not amended. The Bill was guillotined when it returned to the House of Commons and MPs did not even get the opportunity to debate the damaging amendments which were added late in the day in the House of Lords.
In summary, the effect of the new Act on greens law (in England only) is as follows.
While applications for greens which have already been submitted will be processed, it is no longer possible to apply to register land as a green where the following circumstances, among others, pertain.
• An application for planning permission is first publicised.
• A draft development plan has been published for consultation, identifying the land for potential development.
• A draft development plan which identifies the land for potential development is adopted.
• A draft neighbourhood development plan which identifies the land for potential development is published for consultation.
• A neighbourhood development plan which identifies the land for potential development is made.
If the threat is lifted the land will become eligible for registration once more.
Defra has issued interim guidance to commons registration authorities which is here.
In addition, the following provisions in the Act will take effect in due course.
• Landowners may deposit a statement with the commons registration authority to challenge use of land for lawful sports and pastimes as of right and prevent it from becoming eligible for registration.
• The period within which you must submit your application for a green after your use is challenged (other than in connection with development, above) will be reduced from two years to one year.
• Commons registration authorities will be entitled to charge a fee for applications.