Trigger events were introduced by the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013.  A trigger event can prevent an application to register land as a green. Under the 2013 Act a trigger event occurs where land is the subject to a planning application, or has been identified for potential development by a local authority.  

A recent case considered what constitutes a “trigger event” to prevent a registration as a town and village green.  The case involved land which was located within Royal Wootton Bassett. The land was registered as a green by Wiltshire Council on the basis that the local residents had used it for recreational activities for many years. The landowner challenged the registration by judicial review.

The court considered the two policies within the Wiltshire Core Strategy Development Plan Document 2015, which made references to defined land that had been identified for potential development and this included the market town of Royal Wootton Bassett.  The court found in favour of the landowner and quashed the registration.  The land in question fell within the boundary of the market town and as such that area had been identified sufficiently in the Wiltshire Core Strategy for potential development.

Landowners and developers will welcome this decision which helps to overcome the obstacles hindering development and investment. The decision also indicates that a broad interpretation of “potential” development will be adopted by the courts.  In addition, local planning policies should be properly considered when dealing with proposed town and village greens.

At Myerson our property team has extensive experience in acting for all parties involved in or affected by developments and would be delighted to provide further advice in this area should you require it.  Please call our Commercial Property team on 0161 941 4000 or email us