Cornerstone Barristers successfully resists village green application for NHS

01 Jan 2018

Health and Social Care, Property

The application, made under the provisions of section 15(3) of the Commons Act 2006, (“the 2006 Act”) relied on a claim that the land had been used by inhabitants of a locality or neighbourhood for lawful sports and pastimes (LSP) for a period of at least 20 years ending in January 2013.

The NHS contested the application on the grounds that:

(a) after July 1993 the land was comprised within a single freehold title which included the hospital site;

(b) in the discharge of their statutory health functions after July 1993, none of the foregoing NHS bodies had power to permit land to be used by the public for the purposes of lawful sports and pastimes;

(c) throughout the relevant qualifying period, both the land and the hospital site would have been held for the NHS functions of various NHS bodies;

(d) the claimed locality or neighbourhood did not satisfy the tests required by the 2006 Act.

The Inspector for Surrey County Council concluded that the claimed locality and neighbourhood in the application did not correlate with their respective meanings under section 15 of the 2006 Act. The Inspector recommended that the registration authority reject the application on the grounds that the applicant had failed to satisfy all the requirements necessary for the land to be registered as a TVG.

The decision includes important discussion of the argument that the registration of the land would conflict with the statutory purposes for which the land was held.

While the NHS has no plans to develop the 2.9 acre site at the present time, it is anticipated that the Registration Authority, Surrey County Council, will now dismiss the application for registration.

Click here to read the Inspector’s report and recommendation in full.