How to prepare your town or village green application for registration

Want to register land as a town or village green?

First check with your registration authority (county or unitary council) to see whether it is already registered.

Pioneer areas

If you live in Blackburn with Darwen, Cornwall, Devon, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Kent Lancashire, Cumbria or North Yorkshire please be aware that these are pioneer areas and the relevant regulations are contained in the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014.

Find out more about this status here.

Village green at Penpedairheol, Caerphilly. Photo: Steve Morgan
Village green at Penpedairheol, Caerphilly. Photo: Steve Morgan

Application Forms

If the land is not already registered and is also not within a pioneer area in England (see above), ask the authority for Form 44. The regulations contained in the Commons (Registration of Town or Village Greens) (Interim Arrangements) England) or (Wales) Regulations 2007 apply. If the authority does not have form 44, contact the Open Spaces Society or go to Defra’s website or the Welsh government’s website

If the un-registered land does fall within a pioneer area the application document required is called Form C9, which can be obtained  by following this link. The regulations that apply in this instance are contained in the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014.

Lower Park, Shaldon, Devon, registered 2011
Lower Park, Shaldon, Devon, registered 2011

Preparing your application – follow these steps

You will need to show on a map the area you wish to register and the defined area  (locality or neighbourhood within a locality),  locality or neighbourhood in which those using the green ‘as of right’ live.

The locality, or any neighbourhood within a locality, is the area inhabited by the people on whose evidence the application for registration relies. 'Locality' is an area capable of being defined by reference to some division of the country known to the law, for example a parish or some other local government unit. There is no conclusive definition of a 'neighbourhood within a locality' but it must have a significant degree of cohesiveness.

You will need to show that a significant number of those people who use the land are local people.

You will need to show that those using the green have done so without permission, without being stopped or seeing notices which stop them, and without being secretive about it (ie ‘as of right’), and that between them they have done this for a continuous period of 20 years.

For information about section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 setting out the criteria for registration of land, please click here.

Please click here to purchase our book, Getting Greens Registered, which is a step-by-step guide to the law and procedure for town and village greens.

A sample evidence questionnaire in support of your town or village green application can be downloaded here:

VG Evidence Questionnaire – Word
VG Evidence Questionnaire – PDF preparing your application

Circumstances when land is not eligible to be registered in England

Following implementation of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 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.

Full details of these ‘trigger’ and ‘terminating events’ are contained in Schedule 15A Appendix 1 to s15, Commons Act 2006.

Circumstances when land is not eligible for registration in Wales

Following the changes in The Planning (Wales) Act 2015, which came into force in October 2018, it is no longer possible to apply to register land where the following circumstances pertain:

•an application for planning permission is granted
•a local development order is made
•an order granting development consent is made

Full details of these ‘ trigger’ and ‘terminating events are contained in Schedule 15B

Village green which was voluntarily registered by Scorton Parish Council.  Credit: Scorton Parish Council
Village green which was voluntarily registered by Scorton Parish Council. Credit: Scorton Parish Council

Applicants should also note that

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) is one year in England, and two years in Wales.

Defra has issued guidance to commons registration authorities, updated as at December 2016, and this is available here.

The Welsh government has issued advice to commons registration authorities, and this is available here

Further resources about town and village greens

  • 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 or village greens.

  • TVG registration guidance

    Defra information and guidance on registering land as a town or village green.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Landowner statements: the threat to village greens (England)

    Now you must apply to register land as a green within one year of a landowner's challenge to your use of the land for informal recreation.

  • 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.

  • Landowner statements: the threat to village greens (Wales)

    Now you must apply to register land as a green in Wales within two years of a landowner's challenge to your use of the land for informal recreation.

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