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DEFRA consultation – Village Greens

22nd August, 2011

Defra have recently issued a consultation document considering reforms to the village green registration process currently set out in the Commons Act 2006. The consultation closes on 17 October.

Village greens have rarely been out of the news in recent years and a significant number of cases have made it to the highest court in the England and Wales, the Supreme Court, for a decision.

The main problem with the current process is that it can be used by local residents and pressure groups to prevent much needed development from going ahead rather than being confined to its original intention, to secure public rights over land which have accrued over time. The number of applications is also rising at a significant rate with current figures showing a rise of applications from a negligible level in the 70’s and 80’s, to around 50 in 2003, to over 130 in 2009.

The consultation proposes a number of possible options including integrating the village green system into the planning process, introducing fees for applications and introducing a “character” test to stop non-traditional sites being registered.

For more information on the consultation and any village green issues please contact David Kerfoot, Head of Planning at [email protected]

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