Thursday, 31 March 2011


Disappointly, the application to register the wild flower meadows behind Black Oak Road as a Town Green has failed.  The Inspector who considered the application, Mr. Vivian Chapman QC, turned it down on a legal technicality, although in all other respects he accepted that the application met the necessary requirements for registration.  The Council purchased the land in 1948, but the records do not make it clear whether the land was purchased under the Public Health Act 1875 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1944.  If it was purchased under the PHA 1875 the public would have been able to use the land “by right” rather than “as of right”.  Under the legislation that provides for the establishment of a village or town green the applicant needs to show that the land to be registered is land on which the inhabitants of any locality have indulged in sports and pastimes “as of right” for not less than twenty years.  On the balance of evidence, the inspector concluded that the meadows were purchased under the PHA 1875, and that therefore they could not be registered as a village green as the public use had not been “as of right”.  This may seem a very subtle difference, but in legal terms it appears to be an important one. It was a close run thing, and RAG would like to thank Mr. Andrew Hill for the immense time and effort he has put into pursuing this Town Green application.