Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Thirty-Third Report



ANNEX 2

COUNTRYSIDE AND RIGHTS OF WAY BILL - FURTHER GOVERNMENT AMENDMENT FOR REPORT STAGE

Fourth supplementary memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

PART V: MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTARY

CLAUSE (TOWN AND VILLAGE GREENS)

1.  This is an amendment to section 22 of the Commons Registration Act 1965, which is the interpretation provision. The main purpose of the 1965 Act is to facilitate the registration of commons and town or village greens.

2.  The amendment augments the definition of 'town or village greens' by making reference to, and then inserting, a new subsection (1A). A further new subsection - (1B) - is also introduced.

3.  Subsection (1A) addresses circumstances in which land used for lawful sports and pastimes - other than by customary right - falls within the definition of town or village green. Land used as of right for lawful sports and pastimes for not less than 20 years by a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality (or any neighbourhood within a locality) qualifies as town or village green under this new subsection if either the inhabitants continue so to do, or if they have ceased for not longer than a particular period or time.

4.  That period of time may be prescribed, or determined in accordance with prescribed provisions: subsection (1A)(b). Furthermore, where the latter option is taken and regulations made under (1A)(b) provide for the period to come to an end unless prescribed steps are taken, those regulations may require registration authorities to make available, on payment of any prescribed fee, information relating to the taking of any such steps.

5.  'Prescribed' means prescribed by regulations (section 22(1)) and regulations made under the 1965 Act are made by statutory instrument subject to the negative resolution procedure (section 19(5)). The regulations are made by the Secretary of State (as respects England) and the National Assembly for Wales (as respects Wales).

6.  It is sensible to use a delegated power to supply the detail of this measure and it also enables different circumstances to be treated accordingly. The Government considers that since the amendment expands and clarifies an existing element of the definition of 'town or village green', the level of Parliamentary scrutiny applicable to other regulations made under the 1965 Act is also appropriate here.

2 November 2000


 
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