Town and Village Greens – The New Legislation

9 May, 2013

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 received royal assent on 25 April 2013 and its provisions amend the legislation surrounding Town and Village Greens (TVGs). The new provisions are helpful to landowners.

The new Act amends the Commons Act 2006 in the following ways:

  • a landowner has the option to deposit a statement concerning his land with the Commons Registration Authority. At present an applicant must prove 20 years’ use of the land as a TVG. The statement should prove a helpful way for landowners to ‘stop the clock’ as it will bring to an end the time in which local residents have been using the land as a TVG. It is certainly more discreet than a landowner erecting numerous signs or fencing his land (which are the type of actions a landowner can take at present). Such actions often precipitate an application by local residents for land to be given TVG status;
  • the time limit for an applicant to make an application after the use of the land as a TVG has ceased (e.g. as a result of a fence being erected) is reduced from two years to one year;
  • it excludes TVG applications where a ‘trigger event’ occurs (such as when various applications for planning permission are first published).

Only the latter provision is in force as at today’s date but even on its own it substantially curtails local residents’ capacity to restrict or delay development of land, which will be very welcome news to landowners and developers.