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Village Green 'Five Year Delay' Claim Withdrawn

Cain Ormondroyd

An application to register land known as 'Freeman's Wood' in Lancaster as a town or village green can go ahead after a judicial review brought by a potential developer (R (Satnam Investments Ltd) v Lancashire County Council) was withdrawn.

The application to register the land was first made in 2012. Despite repeated chasing by the applicant, the county council did not conclude that the application was "duly made" until February 2018. The landowner and developer claimed not to have had any notice of the application in the meantime, such that their interests had been prejudiced by the delay (the land was being promoted for development and it was claimed that the expense incurred in doing so might have been wasted if the application was subsequently successful).

Mrs Justice Lang had granted permission for the case to go ahead. The applicants for registration as a village green provided evidence to show that the landowner had in fact had notice of the application. Members of the public had referred to the village green application at consultation events organised by the landowner's consultants, and the application had also had extensive publicity locally.

The judicial review claim has now been withdrawn on the condition that the application is dealt with promptly by the county council. It is scheduled for an inquiry in late August.

Cain Ormondroyd acted for the applicants for village green registration in the High Court proceedings.