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Village Greens – Don’t Forget Your Life Jacket…

22nd August, 2011

Long gone are the days when village greens were nothing more than a pleasant, usually well tended, public open space enjoyed by a village or local community for occasional fetes, the village sports day and the odd game of football or cricket.

In recent months we have seen local councils consider the registration of 42 acres of land in Bristol and the registration of part of the West Beach in Newhaven as village greens; in both cases registration was recommended.

But now things have gone slightly crazy…

In July 2011 the Isle of Anglesey County Council recommended the registration of a lake, Llyn Maelog, as a village green following an application from the local community council. Try playing a game of cricket or walking your dog on that village green! Even though the lake is registered as a site of special scientific importance, registration as a village green means it can now be enjoyed by any the public for any lawful sports or pastime.

Once an application is made to register land as a village green it can become a nightmare for landowners; objecting to a registration is time consuming and can be costly and if the land is registered it can effectively remove any development value from the land. DEFRA have recently issued a consultation on proposed reforms to the village green registration process.

If you have any concerns over the possible registration of your land as a village green or you are looking to register land as a village green to protect local rights to use it, please contact David Kerfoot, Head of Planning at [email protected].

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