Re-Registration of Common Land under Pt 1 of the Commons Act 2006


Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 provides for the review, updating and keeping-up-to-date of the commons registers. As part of this process, applications to register land as common that failed under the 1965 Commons Registration Act may in certain cases be reconsidered. The cases that qualify are defined by Schedule 2(4) of the 2006 Act. Where an application under Schedule 2(4) is successful, the land in question will be added to the commons register (‘re-registered’).


The principal aim of this Website is to provide detailed information on the areas of land that may be eligible for re-registration. The information is made available through (i) a series of Search Sheets; and (ii) a set of Case Assessment Sheets covering the Pioneer Areas. The Search Sheets cover all of the English registers.  The Case Assessment Sheets offer an initial assessment of eligibility for each of the CL units listed in the Pioneer Area Search Sheets. For details of Northern England — which in terms of land area includes the greater part of England’s eligible CL units — click HERE.


Practical advice for those pursuing applications is available through our Further Information page. This includes links to the legislation, the regulations and the official Guidance produced by DEFRA. For details of the implementation timetable, including current plans for the future ‘roll-out’ of Pt 1, see: Implementation page. Part 1 implementation in Wales was commenced on 5 March 2017.


The Search Sheets incorporate hyperlinks to the Commons Commissioners’ Decision Letters, which have been made available online by DEFRA through the Website of the Association of Commons Registration Authorities (ACRAEW). A revised version of the ACRAEW lists — in which the links to the letters are arranged in order of the CL (common land) and VG (village green) unit numbers — is available HERE.


Existing research on Northern England (excluding Lancashire) shows there to be over 600 square kilometres of  land in this area alone that may be eligible for re-registration. More recent work on the rest of the country has produced a corresponding figure for the pioneer authorities of over 260 square kilometres; and an estimated total for England & Wales of around 1900 square kilometres (Stats Table available HERE). The potential public benefits of Schedule 2(4) are therefore substantial. Land added to the register will enjoy the special legal protection afforded to common land. It will also be subject to the public access provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act; or, may qualify as a s193 ‘urban’ common (in which case, the right of access would extend to both walkers and horse-riders).


Schedule 2 includes related provisions concerning: (i) the bringing onto the registers of land that is recognised under statute as a common or green but is not currently registered (including the areas that were exempted from registration under the 1965 Act); (ii) the re-registration of town or village greens mistakenly registered as common land; and (iii) the deregistration of certain areas of land that can be shown to be wrongly registered. For an overview of these and related Pt 1 provisions see: Other Provisions page.


[The full text of this Website can be downloaded HERE as a set of Explanatory Notes]