Creation and registration of common land
Creation and registration of common land

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Creation and registration of common land
  • What is common land?
  • Background to the Commons Act 2006—the introduction of separate processes for pioneer and non-pioneer areas
  • The commons registers and commons registration authorities
  • Creation of new rights under CRA 1965 in non-pioneer areas
  • Creation of rights under older statutes
  • Registration of rights under CoA 2006 in non-pioneer areas
  • Registering a right of common under CoA 2006 in pioneer areas
  • New event applications in pioneer areas
  • Severance by transfer to Natural England
  • more

What is common land?

The term ‘common land’ usually includes all land which is subject to rights of common, ie the rights which one or more ‘commoners’ may have to take the natural produce of that land, in common with each other and with the owner of the land. In most statutes, the term ‘common’ is defined more widely as including any land subject to be inclosed under the Inclosure Acts and any town or village green.

Halsbury's Laws of England defines a ‘right of common’ as:

‘a right, which one or more persons may have, to take or use some portion of that which another man's soil naturally produces. Such part of that produce as the commoners do not lawfully take belongs to the owner of the soil. The right is in the nature of a profit à prendre, and so must be distinguished from an easement, which, although a right over another man's land, confers no right to participation in the produce of that land’

Members of the public do not have common law rights to wander at will over commons or common land. Rights of common extend only to the local commoners. However, there are a number of statutory systems safeguarding the public right of access over open spaces, including commons and lands subject to rights of common. In

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