Common land and village greens

The Local Land Charges office is responsible for updating the common land and town or village green register. This includes amendments to the register and the registering of new town or village greens within its boundary.

Searches

Searches can be submitted by selecting enquiry number 22 on the CON29O form. The form can be found on the submitting a search page. This enquiry can be submitted separately, or at the same time as undertaking a local search application. Searches cost £10 each when submitted at the same time as undertaking a local search or £10 plus an additional £10 admin fee if submitted separately.

The Common Land and Village Green Registers are public registers and available to view. Email llcplymouth@plymouth.gov.uk or call 01752 304809 to make an appointment to view a search address or area of land.

Property abutting or within common land, town or village green

If a search reveals that the property is abutting or within common land, town or village green, there may be implications for you. Please speak to your solicitor for advice and contact the Local Land Charges office if you require copies of the Register of Common Land, Register Map or other related documents we hold.

Common land

Common land is land, usually in private ownership, that has rights of common over it. The main features of common land are that it is generally open, unfenced and remote - particularly in the upland areas of England and Wales. However, there are some lowland areas of common land, particularly in the south-east of England, that are important for recreational uses. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act, 2000 permits public access to open countryside including access to common land.

Town or village greens

Town or village greens are usually areas of land within defined settlements or geographical areas which local inhabitants can go onto for the exercise of lawful sports and pastimes as of right for at least 20 years and either continue to do so or have ceased to do so (for not more than said period as may be prescribed). Sports and pastimes could include organised or ad-hoc games, picnics, fetes and other similar activities. While land forming town or village greens may be privately owned, many greens are owned and maintained by local Parish or Community Councils. Some greens may also have rights of common (grazing of livestock) over them.

Registering common land/village greens

An application to register new land as a town or village green can be done under the Commons Act 2006 Section 15. When applying to Plymouth City Council as Commons Registration Authority, the applicant has to prove that the land has been used as of right for a period of 20 years. As of rights means that the land owner has not stopped you from using the land or fenced the land in during this time.

The application form to use when applying to the Commons Registration Authority is called Form 44 and can be downloaded from the DEFRA website.