Supreme Court upholds Teeside village green
March 8 2010
The seafront Coatham area of Redcar has been subject to a series of rulings the local council and High Courts in favour of a £55m development comprising housing, a sports centre and swimming pool on Coatham Common.
It had been decided that residents had “deferred” their right to the common land when people “gave way” to a member’s only golf course. Residents successfully stated in the UK’s highest court however that the act of showing “civility” or “deference” to members did not absolve their right to register the land as a village green.
The dispute centres on the 1876 Commons Act which grants local communities in England & Wales the right to register council owned land as a green if evidence of at least 20 years recreational use can be provided without residents being stopped or asking permission.
Common land is a legacy of medieval times when people relied on commons for grazing, firewood and peat. It remains enshrined in law to this day although the rights are no longer exercised.
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