What is a town or village green?
Produced in partnership with Stephen Morgan of Landmark Chambers

The following Planning practice note produced in partnership with Stephen Morgan of Landmark Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is a town or village green?
  • Legislative context
  • Statutory requirements for registration
  • Burden of proof
  • Planning permission pre-23 June 2006
  • Lawful sports and pastimes
  • Use that has to be discounted
  • Use of whole land
  • Significant number of inhabitants
  • Neighbourhood and locality
  • More...

What is a town or village green?

The existence of a town or village green (TVG) may restrict or even prevent development. It is a criminal offence to disturb or interfere with the use or enjoyment of a TVG. Consequently, an application to register a TVG is a useful weapon for anyone wishing to stop a development.

TVGs may or may not be subject to rights of common. They are areas of open space which have been used by the inhabitants of the town, village or parish, for the purposes of lawful sports and pastimes. There is no legal distinction between town greens and village greens; it just depends on where they are situated.

See also Practice Notes: Town and village greens—making an application to register a TVG, Commons, town and village greens—registration, Town and village greens—registration, rectification, correction and deregistration and Town or village greens—property development.

Legislative context

The Commons Registration Act 1965 (CRA 1965) introduced a new requirement for a permanent, conclusive record of the extent of common land and town or village greens and rights of common exercisable over any such land. Local authorities were responsible for adding land to the commons registers. Since the coming into force of CRA 1965, all land in England and Wales which is common land, or a town or village green and all rights of common over such land, must

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