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Court of Appeal to define the scope of the Commons Act 2006

The Court of Appeal (Jackson, Lindblom and Thirwall LJJ) will today begin to hear three days of argument in the co-joined appeals of Jones v NHS Property Services Ltd and Lancashire County Council v Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

The common issue between the cases is the circumstances in which land held by public authorities is exempt from registration as a new village green under s.15 Commons Act 2006.

The Supreme Court in Newhaven Port & Properties Ltd v East Sussex County Council [2015] AC 1547 identified that the duties and powers upon the statutory undertaker which operates Newhaven Harbour meant that their land was exempt from registration by operation of the doctrine of statutory incompatibility. These co-joined appeals concern whether that doctrine extends to land held by the National Health Service and local authorities.

Ashley Bowes (instructed by Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law) appears for the Appellant, Mr Jones. Jonathan Clay and Matt Lewin (instructed by Capsticks LLP) appear for the Respondent, NHS Property Services Ltd.