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Study of registered town and village greens and the attitudes towards applications - NR0139

Description
For the last 40 years, successive governments have considered the possibility of reform of the law relating to common land and town/village greens. This is partly because it has long been recognised that town and village greens represent important open spaces for local communities right across England and Wales. A recent report by English Heritage in 2008 focussing on urban commons indicates the wide and varied pastimes and activities that took place on such spaces both now and in the past. A first step was made by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (s98) but the research team recognise the importance of the Commons Act 2006 in changing the legislative landscape for town and village greens and adjusting and clarifying the application process.

As a result this new landscape requires time to settle in and achieve the right balance for local communities as well as for land owners and developers. It is perhaps no surprise that there is a link between development of green space and attempts by local residents and communities to register areas as town and village greens. Such a fractured relationship was responsible for the birth of the Open Spaces Society in 1865 and so there is a long association with the compatibility of the local level unregulated use of these spaces with those seeing them as under used areas in need of development. This research is an important step in assisting the new legislation to settle in and achieve the delicate balance required between these two often opposing positions.

The purpose of the research is to ‘examine a sample of the sites which have been registered as town or village greens since January 2004 as well as a sample of those that have not been registered’. The project will also examine whether the sites were earmarked for development in local development plans or subject to planning applications. The full diversity of sites, both approved and rejected, will be analysed.
Objective
Objectives
The purpose of the research is to ‘examine a sample of the sites which have been registered as town or village greens since January 2004 as well as a sample of those that have not been registered’. The project will also examine whether the sites were earmarked for development in local development plans or subject to planning applications. The full diversity of sites, both approved and rejected, will be analysed.

The Project Brief outlines five main objectives for the research:
1) Select and justify the number of successful and failed sites selected.
2) Analysis the usage, physical and other characteristics of these sites including photographs.
3) Information clarifying the link between the sites and development intentions.
4) Analysis of the reasons for failed applications.
5) Overall analysis of the findings

Project Documents
• Final Report : Final Report - full pdf version (1MB)   (1113k)
• Final Report - SID5 : SID5   (222k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2009

To: 2009

Cost: £39,875
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Countryside and Community Research Unit
Keywords
Environmental monitoring              
Environmental Protection              
Fields of Study
Ecosystems Approach