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.
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.
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.
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 - Digital (to download and fill in)
VG Evidence Questionnaire – Word (to print and fill in)
You can print and send these maps, along with either version of the form above, to the person intending to make an application to register the land as a town or village green. Alternatively, you can fill in the virtual form and scan in a copy of the maps required, before emailing it to that person, but only if he or she has agreed to receive forms electronically.
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
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 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.