At the inquiry, Laing Homes Limited (represented by Douglas Edwards KC) successfully argued that part of Woodcock Hill Village Green should be deregistered in exchange for a larger green to the west of that land. The Inspector by a decision letter of 24 May 2022, ordered that the area of land which was the subject of Laing Homes’ application should be deregistered and the proposed exchange land registered in its place.
In the High Court, the Claimant unsuccessfully challenged the Inspector’s decision on the basis that the Inspector wrongly construed the term “interests of the neighbourhood” as used in s.16 of the Commons Act. The Claimant argued that the “neighbourhood” was confined to the ‘defined neighbourhood’ who acquire the legal right to use the green upon registration. The Court held that the Inspector did not err in taking a “broad approach” and considering the interests of the wider neighbourhood of persons who actually use the green (§88).
The judgment addresses a number of matters which will be of interest to those involved in future applications to de-register greens.
The Defendant, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, was represented by Hugh Flanagan.
A copy of the judgment can be accessed here.