Q&As

What rights does a local authority have to grant an easement for vehicular access over a village green to a developer and what procedure does the local authority have to follow?

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Produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings
Published on LexisPSL on 20/12/2017

The following Planning Q&A produced in partnership with Helen Galley of XXIV Old Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What rights does a local authority have to grant an easement for vehicular access over a village green to a developer and what procedure does the local authority have to follow?

Land usually becomes a village green because it has been used for sports or pastimes ‘as of right’ for not less than 20 years.

Where in relation to common land generally, a totally new access is required or the improvement of an existing one by resurfacing then section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 (CoA 2006) provides that any works which require the resurfacing of land on registered common land will require the permission of the Secretary of State. Works involve resurfacing of land ‘if they consist of the laying of concrete, tarmacadam, coated roadstone or similar material on the land (but not if the consist only of the repair of an existing surface made of such material)’.

Registered village greens are further protected by two 19th century statutes from all kinds of damaging activities. Section 12 of the Inclosure Act 1857 and section 29 of the Commons Act 1876 make it an offence to damage or encroach upon a village green or to interrupt its use or enjoyment for recreation. These two Acts do not allow the owner of the village green to regularise any of these activities by gran

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