Town or village green registration: consultation on additional trigger and terminating events

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 (GIA 2013) amended the Commons Act 2006 (CA 2006), in England only, by removing the right to apply to register land as a town or village green where a trigger event relating to the development of the land occurs. The right to apply for registration becomes exercisable again if a corresponding terminating event occurs.

Proposals

Under the existing Schedule 1A to the CA 2006, trigger events occur in relation to land identified for potential development in a development plan document or neighbourhood development plan when the draft local plan or neighbourhood plan is first published for consultation. The corresponding terminating event occurs when there is no longer a development proposal (which in effect is when the draft plan is withdrawn).

The government proposes to introduce a long stop terminating event which is the date two years after the first publication of the draft local plan or neighbourhood development plan. This will avoid the restrictions on registration applications failing to be lifted where there is no longer a development proposal for a reason other than the withdrawal of the relevant plan.

The government is also consulting on proposals to extend trigger and terminating events to include land which is:

Affected by a local development order (LDO) permitting operational development: A first trigger event will occur when the draft order is first published and a second trigger event will occur when the LDO is adopted.

In relation to the first trigger event, a terminating event will occur if:

the draft LDO is withdrawn;

the draft LDO is adopted; or

in any event after two years.

In relation to the second trigger event, a terminating event will occur if the LDO:

expires;

is revoked;

is revised so that the land is no longer identified for development; or

ceases to apply to the land because the local planning authority (LPA) issues a direction to that effect. However, a terminating event will not be treated as having occurred if development has been commenced but not completed at the date of the LPA’s direction.

Affected by a neighbourhood development order (which includes a community right to build order) permitting development (NDO):

A first trigger event will occur when the draft NDO is first published and a second trigger event will occur when the NDO is made by the LPA.

The proposed terminating events for a first trigger event are comparable to those proposed for land affected by an LDO. In relation to a second trigger event, a terminating event will occur if the NDO:

expires;

provides that development must have commenced within a specified period and that period expires without development having been commenced; or

is revoked.

A terminating event will not be treated as having occurred if development has been commenced but not completed and an NDO expires or is revoked.

Subject to an application for an order under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (TWA 1992) (which includes a request for deemed planning permission):

A trigger event will occur on publication of a notice that an application under the TWA 1992 has been made and the notice contains a statement that request for deemed planning permission has been made.

A terminating event will occur if:

the request for a direction for deemed planning permission is withdrawn;

the direction is refused and all means of challenge in the United Kingdom are exhausted; or

the direction is given, but development is not commenced within the specified period.

If the proposals are enacted, for the purposes of the right to apply to register land as a town or village green under section 15 of the CA 2006, it will not matter if the trigger events have occurred before, on or after the date that the provisions come into force.

The proposals apply to England only. The consultation closes on 19 August 2013.