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Green Belt Land (Mangotsfield, South Gloucestershire)

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 12 May 2011

The Petition of the residents of Mangotsfield, Rodway and Emersons Green,

Declares that the Petitioners are concerned by recent actions taken by a developer to erect a hoarding fence around a site of protected green belt land at Cossham Street, Mangotsfield, which is used by the local community; and notes that land which has been proved to have been in local community use can apply for permission to be designated as having village green status.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage South Gloucestershire Council to support any forthcoming application by local residents for village green status with regard to green belt land at Cossham Street, Mangotsfield.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Chris Skidmore, Official Report, 29 March 2011; Vol. 526, c. 1P.]


Observations from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

Commons registration authorities have been under a statutory duty since the late 1960s to maintain the registers of common land and town or village greens. As part of that function they are required to determine applications to amend the registers. Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 allows for applications to register new town or village greens. Land becomes town or village green at the point at which it is recorded in the register of greens.

In this case South Gloucestershire council would be responsible for determining any application to register land at Cossham Street, Mangotsfield as a green. The council must determine the application impartially and on purely factual evidence and disregard any extraneous matters. The criteria for registration are that the land has been used by the inhabitants of the locality or neighbourhood within a locality for lawful sports and pastimes “as of right” (without permission, force or secrecy) for at least 20 years.

It is inappropriate for the Government to express an opinion on an individual application, and the Government are therefore unable to accede to this request.