From: Wright Martin
Sent: 15 January 2014 12:45
To: Wright Martin
Subject: FW: Village Green Law and Assets of Community Value Update from 12 College Place - January 2014

12 College Place

Fauvelle Buildings


SO15 2FE

Tel: (023) 8032 0320  Fax: (023) 8032 0321







The following TVG cases are before the Supreme Court this year:

1.         Taylor v Betterment Properties (Weymouth) Ltd [2012] EWCA Civ 250

            Paddico (267) Ltd v Kirklees Metropolitan Council [2012] EWCA Civ 262

These conjoined appeals are due to be heard this week on 15/01/2014. The issue in both concerns that of the delay in making the application for cancellation of the TVG entry in the register. Put shortly, will prolonged delay preclude the remedy under section 14(b) of the Commons Registration Act 1965? 

2.         Barkas v North Yorkshire County Council & Scarborough Borough Council [2012] EWHC 3653 (Admin)

            The appeal is due to be heard on 2/04/2014. Permission to appeal has been granted on the issue of whether the Housing Acts confer a legal right for non-tenants to use the land. It was the decision of the CA that whenever land is made available and maintained as public open space by the exercise of statutory powers under the HAs then it is used by the public ‘by right’ and not ‘as of right’. Making land available for such purposes is treated as a form of appropriation.

3.         Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd v East Sussex County Council & Newhaven Town Council & Secretary of State for the DEFRA [2012] EWHC 647 (Admin)    

            Permission to appeal was only recently granted on 2/12/2013. The issues before the SC are these: (a) as to the registrability of a tidal beach (b) whether the existence of byelaws gives rise to permissive use (c) statutory incompatibility – will land be registrable if that would be in conflict with the statutory purpose for which the land is held, and (d) human rights – was section 15(4) CA 2006 (and the 5 year period of grace applicable to user ending before 6/04/2007) incompatible with Art/1 of the First Protocol of the ECHR?



4.         The village green reforms under the Growth & Infrastructure Act 2013 will now trump many applications which previously would have been accepted for registration. However practitioners should now keep their eyes on the implications of the growing popularity of the provisions within the Localism Act 2011 which concern the listing of assets of community value (ACV).

5.         In August 2013 the stadia of Anfield and Old Trafford were listed as ACV by Liverpool City Council and Trafford Borough Council respectively in the lists which each of these authorities is required to maintain under section 87(1) of the Localism Act 2011. The stadia used by Oxford United, Leicester City, Barnet FC and Birmingham City are also known to have been listed.

6.         What is an ACV? Sports stadia, village shops, pubs, community and children’s centres, allotments and libraries are all likely candidates for listing. The matter is complicated as the definition contained in the LA is very wide and the Regulations do not provide any sensible guidance of the criteria for deciding what a relevant asset is for these purposes. For instance, might the value of the relevant land entitle a local authority to refuse a nomination on the ground that it was beyond the realistic reach of a community organisation?

7.         The LA gives local groups a right to nominate a building or other land as an ACV. It may be listed if the primary use of the asset furthers (or has recently furthered) their community’s social well-being or social interests. The term ‘social interests’ is stated to include cultural interests, recreational interests and sporting interests. The LA concentrates on an asset’s primary use rather than any incidental or ancillary use.

8.         What it all means is that whenever a listed asset is to be sold, local community groups have an opportunity to make a bid to buy it on the open market. At the moment, we are dealing with an asset’s open market value but the growing popularity of the legislation may in the future tempt Parliament to make larger assets more affordable to local interest groups by tinkering with the legislation by, for instance, limiting market value to existing use value.

9.         Unless an exemption applies, the landowner will only be able to dispose of the asset after a specified period has elapsed. The first window is a 6 week period from the date when the owner notifies the local authority that he wishes to sell. This allows community interest groups to make a request to be treated as a potential bidder for the asset. If none do so then the owner is free to sell at the end of the 6 week period. However, if a community interest group does make a request during the 6 week interim period then a full 6 month moratorium will operate in which event the owner will be unable to enter into a binding commitment to sell the asset unless he chooses to sell to a community interest group during the same period. Once the applicable moratorium periods have ended then the owner may sell to whoever he wants and at any price and no further moratorium will apply for the remainder of the protected period of 18 months running from the date when the owner first notified the local authority of his wish to sell.

10.       The scheme recognises that it may have some financial impact on owners and provides a compensation scheme for private property owners for loss incurred through the asset being listed and will include a claim arising from a period of delay in entering into a binding agreement to sell which is wholly caused by one or other of the moratorium periods. Compensation payments in excess of £20,000 in any one year will be met by the Government although local authorities stand to recover some additional funding from the Government for the burdens which the new legislation imposes on them. It follows from this that local authorities face serious financial risks in the case of high value assets which ought never to have been listed.

11.       In the result, whenever listing is on the cards legal advice should normally be obtained.







- 12CP's Specialist Village Greens, Planning & Land Teams -

Town and Village Greens Team

Our Village Greens team is led by one of our Roadshow presenters, William Webster, who is one of the country's leading experts in the field. He has appeared in a number of ground-breaking cases including Betterment Properties v Dorset County Council (2008).

Team members are well versed in acting and advising for Registration Authorities, objectors, landowners and local communities on the issues arising from the Commons Act 2006. Our TVG team offer their expertise to local authorities in order to accentuate the importance of managing land as a public open space, under Section 10 of the Open Spaces Act 1906.  

Please visit our TVG page to view our complete range of services and to meet our team members.


Planning Team

Our Planning team are well established in all areas of Planning Law and we are proud to be able to offer a high quality, local specialist advocacy and pre-litigation service.

We have a number of specialist sub-teams within our Planning team who are all able to offer their expertise on a wide array of areas and they have gained nationwide recognition for their high level of experience and knowledge.

Our specialist sub-teams include Planning Appeals, Enforcement, Rights of Way and Highways, Judicial Review and Forward Planning.

Please visit our Planning page to view our complete range of services and to meet our team members.

Land Team

12CP can also offer the services of their Land team who have exceptional experience of contentious land litigation and are able to cover a variety of areas relating to property and neighbourhood disputes. In addition to litigation, we are also able to undertake non-contentious cases in a wide ambit of areas including advice over conveyancing, land tax issues and the sale of land from Local Authorities and Public Organisations to corporate and individual clients.

Please visit our Land page to view our complete range of services and to meet our team members. 




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