Cheltenham Builders Ltd , Regina (on the Application of) v South Gloucestershire District Council: Admn 10 Nov 2003

A claim was made for the review of a decision of the Council to amend the Register of Town and Village Greens (TVG).
Held: The registration of the TVG was manifestly flawed and could not stand whether under section 14 or by way of judicial review. Available procedures did not enable precisely the same relief to be granted in that judicial review would enable the registration itself to be quashed. Judicial review was still available. There was no question of bypassing the statutory scheme; s.14 did not require permission to be obtained and there were no specific time limits. The date was that of the determination of the application by the registration authority or judgment by the court. That would enable the landowner in all cases to defeat a claim to the existence of a Green by placing a notice in appropriate terms on the land in question after the application has been made or proceedings commenced and before the determination or judgment and accordingly frustrate the purpose of the legislation. In some cases fairness would make an oral hearing not merely an option but a necessity.
Sullivan J considered the concept of ‘locality’ in this context, finding: 1) The word locality in section 22(1A) should be construed as having the same meaning in classes a, b and c; 2) Apart from the doubt expressed by Lord Denning MR in the New Windsor case, the authorities were unanimously to the effect that, at common law, a customary right to indulge in lawful sports and pastimes could exist only for the benefit of some legally recognised administrative division of the county, and that that was the sense in which Parliament used the word locality when defining class b and c village greens in 1965; 3) On any other approach, there would be no practical distinction between a locality and a neighbourhood; 4) Parliament’s belief that the burden placed upon applicants for TVG registration to demonstrate that the users were the inhabitants of any locality was unduly onerous and should be lightened by the introduction of the neighbourhood concept, was entirely in accordance with the (almost) unanimous view expressed in the authorities; 5) A neighbourhood need not be a recognised administrative unit. A neighbourhood must have a sufficient degree of cohesiveness; 6) A locality in the case of class a and class b village greens means an administrative unit, not one or more administrative units, and locality has the same meaning in subsection; 7) When enacting the 2000 Act, Parliament had not intended to create additional obstacles for applicants, but it managed to do so.


Sullivan J


[2003] EWHC 2803 (Admin), [2004] JPL 975




Commons Registration Act 1965 14 22(1A)

Cited by:

CitedOxfordshire County Council v Oxford City Council, Catherine Mary Robinson ChD 22-Jan-2004
Land had been registered in part as a common. The council appealed.
Held: The rights pre-existing the Act had not been lost. The presumption against retrospectively disapplying vested rights applied, and the application had properly been made. . .
CitedRegina (G) v Immigration Appeal Tribunal; Regina (M) v Immigration Appeal Tribunal Admn 25-Mar-2004
The applicants sought judicial review of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal’s refusal of leave to appeal. The court had to decide whether such a right survived section 101 of the 2001 Act.
Held: The right to have a judicial review could only be . .
Disapproved in partOxfordshire County Council v Oxford City Council and others HL 24-May-2006
Application had been made to register as a town or village green an area of land which was largely a boggy marsh. The local authority resisted the application wanting to use the land instead for housing. It then rejected advice it received from a . .
CitedPaddico (267) Ltd v Kirklees Metropolitan Council and Others ChD 23-Jun-2011
The company sought the rectification of the register of village greens to remove an entry relating to its land, saying that the Council had not properly considered the need properly to identify the locality which was said to have enjoyed the rights . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Judicial Review

Updated: 08 June 2022; Ref: scu.189123