Commons Act 2006

Document Number:2006 CHAPTER 26
 
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An Act to make provision about common land and town or village greens; and for connected purposes.

[19 th July 2006]

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Registration

Introductory

1 Registers of common land and greens

Each commons registration authority shall continue to keep—

(a) a register known as a register of common land; and

(b) a register known as a register of town or village greens.

2 Purpose of registers

(1) The purpose of a register of common land is—

(a) to register land as common land; and

(b) to register rights of common exercisable over land registered as common land.

(2) The purpose of a register of town or village greens is—

(a) to register land as a town or village green; and

(b) to register rights of common exercisable over land registered as a town or village green.

3 Content of registers

(1) The land registered as common land in a register of common land is, subject to this Part, to be—

(a) the land so registered in it at the commencement of this section; and

(b) such other land as may be so registered in it under this Part.

(2) The land registered as a town or village green in a register of town or village greens is, subject to this Part, to be—

(a) the land so registered in it at the commencement of this section; and

(b) such other land as may be so registered in it under this Part.

(3) The rights of common registered in a register of common land or town or village greens are, subject to this Part, to be—

(a) the rights registered in it at the commencement of this section; and

(b) such other rights as may be so registered in it under this Part.

(4) The following information is to be registered in a register of common land or town or village greens in respect of a right of common registered in it—

(a) the nature of the right;

(b) if the right is attached to any land, the land to which it is attached;

(c) if the right is not so attached, the owner of the right.

(5) Regulations may—

(a) require or permit other information to be included in a register of common land or town or village greens;

(b) make provision as to the form in which any information is to be presented in such a register.

(6) Except as provided under this Part or any other enactment—

(a) no land registered as common land or as a town or village green is to be removed from the register in which it is so registered;

(b) no right of common registered in a register of common land or town or village greens is to be removed from that register.

(7) No right of common over land to which this Part applies is to be registered in the register of title.

4 Commons registration authorities

(1) The following are commons registration authorities—

(a) a county council in England;

(b) a district council in England for an area without a county council;

(c) a London borough council; and

(d) a county or county borough council in Wales.

(2) For the purposes of this Part, the commons registration authority in relation to any land is the authority in whose area the land is situated.

(3) Where any land falls within the area of two or more commons registration authorities, the authorities may by agreement provide for one of them to be the commons registration authority in relation to the whole of the land.

5 Land to which Part 1 applies

(1) This Part applies to all land in England and Wales, subject as follows.

(2) This Part does not apply to—

(a) the New Forest; or

(b) Epping Forest.

(3) This Part shall not be taken to apply to the Forest of Dean.

(4) If any question arises under this Part whether any land is part of the forests mentioned in this section it is to be referred to and decided by the appropriate national authority.

Registration of rights of common

6 Creation

(1) A right of common cannot at any time after the commencement of this section be created over land to which this Part applies by virtue of prescription.

(2) A right of common cannot at any time after the commencement of this section be created in any other way over land to which this Part applies except—

(a) as specified in subsection (3); or

(b) pursuant to any other enactment.

(3) A right of common may be created over land to which this Part applies by way of express grant if—

(a) the land is not registered as a town or village green; and

(b) the right is attached to land.

(4) The creation of a right of common in accordance with subsection (3) only has effect if it complies with such requirements as to form and content as regulations may provide.

(5) The creation of a right of common in accordance with subsection (3) does not operate at law until on an application under this section—

(a) the right is registered in a register of common land; and

(b) if the right is created over land not registered as common land, the land is registered in a register of common land.

(6) An application under this section to register the creation of a right of common consisting of a right to graze any animal is to be refused if in the opinion of the commons registration authority the land over which it is created would be unable to sustain the exercise of—

(a) that right; and

(b) if the land is already registered as common land, any other rights of common registered as exercisable over the land.

7 Variation

(1) For the purposes of this section a right of common is varied if by virtue of any disposition—

(a) the right becomes exercisable over new land to which this Part applies instead of all or part of the land over which it was exercisable;

(b) the right becomes exercisable over new land to which this Part applies in addition to the land over which it is already exercisable;

(c) there is any other alteration in what can be done by virtue of the right.

(2) A right of common which is registered in a register of common land or town or village greens cannot at any time after the commencement of this section be varied so as to become exercisable over new land if that land is at the time registered as a town or village green.

(3) A right of common which is registered in a register of town or village greens cannot at any time after the commencement of this section be varied so as to extend what can be done by virtue of the right.

(4) The variation of a right of common which is registered in a register of common land or town or village greens—

(a) only has effect if it complies with such requirements as to form and content as regulations may provide; and

(b) does not operate at law until, on an application under this section, the register is amended so as to record the variation.

(5) An application under this section to record a variation of a right of common consisting of a right to graze any animal is to be refused if in the opinion of the commons registration authority the land over which the right is or is to be exercisable would, in consequence of the variation, be unable to sustain the exercise of—

(a) that right; and

(b) if the land is already registered as common land, any other rights of common registered as exercisable over the land.

8 Apportionment

(1) Regulations may make provision as to the amendments to be made to a register of common land or town or village greens where a right of common which is registered in a register of common land or town or village greens as attached to any land is apportioned by virtue of any disposition affecting the land.

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) may provide that a register is only to be amended when—

(a) a disposition relating to an apportioned right itself falls to be registered under this Part; or

(b) the register falls to be amended under section 11.

(3) Where at any time—

(a) a right of common which is registered in a register of common land or town or village greens as attached to any land has been apportioned by virtue of any disposition affecting the land, and

(b) no amendments have been made under subsection (1) in respect of the apportionment of that right,

the rights of common subsisting as a result of the apportionment shall be regarded as rights which are registered in that register as attached to the land to which they attach as a result of the apportionment.

9 Severance

(1) This section applies to a right of common which—

(a) is registered in a register of common land or town or village greens as attached to any land; and

(b) would, apart from this section, be capable of being severed from that land.

(2) A right of common to which this section applies is not at any time on or after the day on which this section comes into force capable of being severed from the land to which it is attached, except—

(a) where the severance is authorised by or under Schedule 1; or

(b) where the severance is authorised by or under any other Act.

(3) Where any instrument made on or after the day on which this section comes into force would effect a disposition in relation to a right of common to which this section applies in contravention of subsection (2) , the instrument is void to the extent that it would effect such a disposition.

(4) Where by virtue of any instrument made on or after the day on which this section comes into force—

(a) a disposition takes effect in relation to land to which a right of common to which this section applies is attached, and

(b) the disposition would have the effect of contravening subsection (2) ,

the disposition also has effect in relation to the right notwithstanding anything in the instrument to the contrary.

(5) Where by virtue of any instrument made on or after the day on which this section comes into force a right of common to which this section applies falls to be apportioned between different parts of the land to which it is attached, the instrument is void to the extent that it purports to apportion the right otherwise than rateably.

(6) Nothing in this section affects any instrument made before, or made...

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