We are delighted that Cornwall Council has granted our application to restore Viscar Common, in the Cornish parish of Wendron, to the common-land register.
The half-hectare common is north-east of the lane leading to Viscar, and is owned by Wendron Parish Council. The application was made by Tomas Hill, one of our consultants who are re-registering commons. This is the first successful application made on the society’s behalf.
The grounds of the application were that the land should have become finally registered at the time of the Commons Registration Act 1965 but was not. The application at that time was contested and referred to the commons commissioner who failed to consider whether the land was waste of the manor not subject to common rights (of grazing, for example).
We have demonstrated that the land does qualify as waste of the manor, and therefore as common land, because it is open, uncultivated and unoccupied. Cornwall Council agreed.
We are delighted that this land has been added to the commons register. It means that the land is now protected from encroachment and development.
Wendron Parish Council applied to register the land in 2009—the first such application to be made under the Commons Act 2006—but the application was refused following a misunderstanding, by the inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, of the evidential requirements to show that the land was once part of a manor. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs subsequently changed its guidance to address the misunderstanding, and the society’s application benefits from that change.
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