Village Greens

Exclusions to the right to apply

Trigger Events

Trigger events are events related to the development of land which occur within the planning system. Where any such event has occurred in relation to land, the right to make an application for registration of that land as a town or village green is excluded.

It should be noted that not all trigger events are permanent and corresponding terminating events can occur to make an application for a village green possible.

The full list of trigger events is set out in the first column in Schedule 1A of the 2006 Act which can be viewed by clicking here (website).

Some examples of trigger events include:

  • the first publication of an application for planning permission for the land, which will include circumstances where planning permission is subsequently granted;
  • the publication by the local planning authority of a draft local plan or neighbourhood plan proposal which identifies the land for potential development;
  • the adoption or making by the local planning authority of a local plan or neighbourhood plan which identifies the land for potential development;
  • a proposed application for development consent under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure project regime is first publicised by the applicant;
  • an application for development consent under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure project regime which has been accepted by the Secretary of State (in practice the Planning Inspectorate) is first publicised by the applicant;
  • a draft local development order or neighbourhood development order first published for consultation; and
  • the publication of a notice of application for deemed planning permission in respect of Transport and Works Act 1992 orders.

There are fourteen trigger events, each of which relates to a specific planning mechanism. For each trigger event, there are a number of corresponding terminating events (explained below), also specified in Schedule 1A. The local planning authority or authorities and the Planning Inspectorate, as appropriate, will have information as to whether a trigger event or terminating event has occurred in relation to the land.

Note that there are no trigger events in relation to permitted development rights. Therefore the exclusion will not apply to land on which permitted development has taken place, unless a trigger event has occurred in relation to that land for another reason.

If a trigger event has occurred on land then the right to apply to register it as a green is excluded. Therefore a commons registration authority cannot accept any application to register that land as a town or village green. This rule applies even where a trigger event occurred prior to the commencement of section 15C. The legislation allows new trigger events to be added through secondary legislation, as well as existing trigger events to be amended or omitted.

Terminating Events

Every trigger event has corresponding “terminating events”. Where the right to apply has been excluded because a trigger event has occurred, if one of the corresponding terminating events occurs this will mean that the right to apply again becomes exercisable. From that point it will be possible to apply to register land as a town or village green. As with trigger events, this rule applies even where a terminating event occurred prior to the commencement of section 15C. Note the position may be more complex where more than one trigger event has occurred in relation to the land (see paragraph 100).

Terminating events are set out in the second column of Schedule 1A to the 2006 Act (as amended by the 2014 Order) which can be viewed by clicking here (website).

For example, the corresponding terminating events for the publication of an application for planning permission in relation to land are:

  • withdrawal of the planning application;
  • a decision to decline to determine the planning application is made under section 70A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;
  • where permission is refused, all means of challenging the refusal in the UK are exhausted and the decision to refuse planning permission is upheld (or the time limit for an appeal expires without such an appeal being made);
  • where the planning application is granted, the period within which the development to which that permission relates expires without the development having been begun.

The legislation allows new terminating events to be added through secondary legislation, as well as existing terminating events to be amended or omitted.