Town and Village Greens
Newcastle City Council is the Commons Registration Authority responsible for determining applications to register town or village greens ('Village Green applications') within the Newcastle upon Tyne administrative area.
To establish that land is a village green, an applicant has to satisfy the Council that a significant number of the inhabitants of the locality, have indulged in lawful sports and pastimes as of right for at least 20 years, and either they continue to do so, or they have ceased to do so for not more than one year, as at the date of the application.
The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, as from 25 April 2013, excluded the right to apply to register land as a town or village green when a 'trigger event' had occurred in relation to that land unless and until the corresponding 'terminating event' occurs. A list of the trigger events and the corresponding terminating events can be found here.
Any application to register a town or village green should be submitted to John Softly, Assistant Director, Legal Services, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 2BN.
Village Green Landowner Statements
An owner of land may, from 1 October 2013, lodge with Newcastle City Council what is known as a Landowner Statement, the effect of which is to bring to an end any period of recreational use 'as of right' over land to which the statement applies.
An application to deposit a statement and map should be made by completing Form CA16 which can be found here.
The completed Form CA16 must also be accompanied by the following:
- An Ordnance Survey Map on a scale of not less than 1:10,560 showing the boundary of the land to which the application relates in coloured edging, or refer to a map previously deposited with the Council accordance with section 31(6) Highways Act 1980
- The appropriate application fee. For details of the fee please contact Legal Services, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE99 2BN.
The Form CA16 must be completed in accordance with the requirements set out in the relevant regulations. Further information on how to make a Village Green Landowner Statement is available in Guidance issued by DEFRA.
The Council keeps a register of all Village Green Landowner Statements at the Customer Service Centre at the Civic Centre which can be inspected free of charge during the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. An electronic version of that register can be seen here.
The Highways Act 1980 provides a mechanism by which a landowner can deposit a statement and map acknowledging ways across their land (if any) which they admit to having been dedicated as highways (hereafter referred to as a "s.31(6) Highways Act Statement"). Landowners may then within 20 years of the deposit of the map and statement, lodge a formal declaration to the effect that no additional way (other than any which they specifically identify in that declaration) over the land shown on the map has been dedicated as highway since the date of the initial or previous statement (a "s.31(6) Highways Act Declaration").
Unless there is proof of a contrary intention, this statement and declaration will be sufficient evidence to negative the intention of an owner or his successors in title to dedicate any such additional way as highway.
The Council as Highway Authority keeps a register of s.31(6) Highways Act Statements and s.31(6) Highways Act Declarations and further information (including as to the fee which is payable) is available on the Council's website.
As from 1st October 2013, s.31(6) Highways Act Statements and s.31(6) Highways Act Declarations have to be submitted on Form CA16. Landowners may if they choose, use the form to make a statement both in relation to Village Greens and in relation Highways and where they do so, the fees that will be payable are as specified.