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Guidelines on the Commons Act 2006 – Section 15 – Town and Village Greens

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Town and village greens derive from customary law. They were originally areas of land where local people indulged in lawful sports and pastimes.

These might have included organised or informal games, picnics, fetes, dog walking and similar activities. A green can be in private ownership but many greens are owned or maintained by town, community or local councils.

How can a green be registered?

Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 changes the legal definition of a town or village green and sets out the qualifying circumstances in which land may be newly registered.  Essentially anyone can apply to have the land registered as a town or village green if it has been used by local people for recreation ‘as of right’ (i.e. without permission, force or secrecy) for at least 20 years. 

For the first time, under section 15(8), landowners can apply to register their land voluntarily as a town or village green for local people without meeting the qualifying criteria.

If you wish to register land as a town or village green you can apply to your commons registration authority (county or county borough council). 

The authority will be able to advise on the procedures involved. An applicant will need to provide supporting evidence of the nature and extent of use of the land to satisfy the registration criteria.

External link

Commons (Registration of Town or Village Greens) (Interim Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2007 [SI 2007 No. 2396 (W.198)].

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Commons Act 2006: Section 15 (File size: 1.9KB)
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Application form (File size: 2.8KB)
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Notice of application (File size: 2.7KB)