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 1,200 cases annually helping individuals, groups and communities to save their local green spaces and paths. Individual membership costs £3/month. Join us today.
These might include the following:
1.1 The land you own is already used by local people for recreation (perhaps with permission) and you wish to formalise the position and protect the land for people’s enjoyment in the future.
1.2 You wish to allocate for recreation land which is not currently used for that purpose.
1.3 You are promoting or funding the provision or improvement of open space.
1.4 You want to create a lasting public memorial and put something back into the community.
1.5 As a planning condition for a development you are required to provide a recreational area.
The process is simplified and does not require the usual evidence-based type of application:
2.1 Complete form 44 and submit it to the commons registration authority (county or unitary council). The authority is not required to examine the merits of the application, it need only be satisfied that you are legally entitled to apply to register the land.
2.2 You will need to consult any lease or charge holder to inform them that you intend to apply for voluntary registration. They will need to provide written consent.
2.3 The application must include a map and description of the land. You will need to identify the area where local people who use the land reside, because once the land is registered as a town/village green those local people will have a right to the land for recreation.
2.4 You need to confirm in a statutory declaration that you are the owner of the land and have obtained any necessary consents. An application cannot be rejected, but the authority can ask for further evidence of ownership.
Blackburn with Darwen,
Devon (ex. unitary authorities)
Kent (ex. unitary authorities)
Lancashire (ex. Blackpool)
While the Open Spaces Society has made every effort to ensure the information obtained in this fact sheet is an accurate summary of the subject as at the date of publication, it is unable to accept liability for any misinterpretation of the law or any other error or omission in the advice in this paper.
© Open Spaces Society, April 2020
Further resources about town and village greens
Court cases on town & village greens
We publish a commentary about most decisions in the courts about town and village green cases. You can find a list of these cases here together with a hyperlink to our commentary or (where there is none) report of the case on the website of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute.