Will your land have development potential in years to come? If so, you need to monitor the public use of the land and take any necessary steps to protect it for future development.
So what is a village green, and how do you defend an application to register your land as one?
Where land has been used for informal recreation including dog walking and kite flying by local people for at least 20 years, it is possible for them to apply for the land to be registered as a town or village green (“TVG”). A TVG does not have to be the run of the mill square of grass in the middle of the village. A golf course has been registered as a TVG. The use of the land must be without permission, force or secrecy. Once registered as a TVG, development cannot take place unless you apply to deregister the land.
You can take a number of steps to defend an application for the registration of your land as a village green including:
- erecting fencing
- displaying suitable signage, advising that access is by permission
- getting the land earmarked for development in a draft development plan or neighbourhood development plan or submitting an application for planning. In certain planning situations, it is no longer possible to register land as a TVG.
If local people are using your land, it should be possible at the end of this year for you to deposit a statement and map with the Local Authority to bring to an end the period of use. But be aware. If at the time that the statement is made there is already 20 years use, an application can be made within two years of that statement for the land to be registered as a TVG.
For advice on rural issues please contact Trudie Nicholas.
This article features in the August 2013 edition of Absolute Herefordshire. The article can be downloaded here: Absolute Herefordshire August 2013 Protect Your Land