ARCHIVE: Commons registration authority functions
The Commons Registration Act 1965 required local authorities in England and Wales to establish registers of common land and town and village greens within their areas: recording the extent of the land, the owners of the land and any rights held over the common.
Find out below about commons registration authorities' functions under the Commons Registration Act 1965. Information is also available about the pilot implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 from 1 October 2008.
On this page:
- Registration authorities' functions
- Updates to Commons Registration Officers
- Arrangements for Searches of the Commons Registers
- Association of Commons Registration Authorities for England and Wales (ACRAEW)
- Registration of new town and village greens
- Commons Commissioners' decisions
The Commons Registration Act 1965 designates county councils (and unitary authorities exercising the functions of county councils), metropolitan borough councils and London borough councils as commons registration authorities.
These authorities were originally charged with administering the registration of common land and town and village greens under the 1965 Act. Further information about how the registers were created can be found in our guidance on the Commons Registration Act 1965 (PDF 289KB). Today the chief function of a registration authority is to maintain the registers for public inspection, to conduct searches of the registers in response to applications from the public and conveyancers, and to handle applications for amendments to the registers, particularly to register new town and village greens and to remove common land from the registers. Please see our factsheet about the commons registers (PDF 33KB)
Registration authorities' duties and responsibilities are set out in the 1965 Act, and in regulations made under the Act. In due course, these responsibilities will be replaced by those set out in Part I of the Commons Act 2006. Part 1 has already been brought into force in seven pilot areas with effect from 1 October 2008. Section 15, in relation to the registration of new town or village greens, was brought into force in England on 6 April 2007. Sections 16 and 17, in relation to the deregistration and exchange of land, was brought into force on 1 October 2007.
The Commons Registration (Amendment and Miscellaneous Revocations) Regulations 2010 substantially revoke many of the regulations made under the 1965 Act, and further information about these changes is available in the Explanatory Memorandum. The Regulations also amend the notes to the following forms contained in Schedule 1 to the General Regulations: form 16 (Application for a note to be made in a register: General Regulation 24), form 17 (Application for the removal of land from a register: s.13(a) of the 1965 Act and General Regulation 27) and form 19 (Application for the amendment of a register in relation to a right of common: s.13(c) of the 1965 Act and General Regulation 29): revised notes are available (PDF 136KB).
The Common Land team sends emails to all commons registration officers (CROs) in England from time to time, updating them on recent changes affecting their responsibilities under the Commons Act 2006 and the Commons Registration Act 1965. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you work in a commons registration authority and you wish to be added to the mailing list.
Read the latest update
- Update 23 to CROs – 14 October 2010 (PDF 20 KB)
Inside this issue:
- Abolition of Commons Commissioners etc.
- Revised guidance on applications to register town or village greens
- Implementation of Part 1 — expressions of interest for new tranche of authorities
Update 22 to CROs – 19 August 2010 (PDF 20 KB)
- Town or village green survey
- Expanded guidance on registration of town or village greens
- Further implementation of Part 1 of the 2006 Act — expressions of interest
Update 21 to CROs – 9 April 2010 (PDF 20 KB)
- Commons Councils
- Town and Village Greens: the Redcar case
- Town and Village Greens: Warneford Meadow, Oxfordshire
- Revised guidance for the pilot implementation of Part 1 of the 2006 Act
Update 20 to CROs - 5 February 2010 (PDF 18 KB)
- Postponement of national commencement of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006
Update 19 to CROs – 17 November 2009 (PDF 18KB)
- Consultation on town and village greens registration system (section 15 of the Commons Act 2006)
Update 18 to CROs – 2 September 2009 (PDF 72KB)
- Straddling agreements
- First registration of title to registered land
- Delegation of functions under the Commons Act 2006
- Implementation of Part 1 of the 2006 Act in pilot areas
- Withdrawal of applications for registration of a new town or village green
- Rejecting the recommendation of an inspector
New arrangements for searches of the commons registers began on 1 August 2007. They comprise a modification of the previous non-statutory form CON29 part II used for supplementary searches of local authorities on a purchase of land or property, to be known instead as form CON29O, so as to include an optional question 22 about the commons registers. The new arrangements apply to England and Wales. The existing statutory form 21 for searches of the commons registers was abolished in England and Wales on 1 October 2007.
- Guidance note on new arrangements for searches of the commons registers - August 2007 (PDF 128KB)
- The Commons Registration (General) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2007
- The Commons Registration (General) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2007
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Commons Registration (General) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2007
The Commons and Greens Registration and Management Association (CGRMA) was renamed to the Association of Commons Registration Authorities in July 2008. The purpose of ACRA is to support Commons Registration Officers and staff whose work includes common land and/or town and village greens.
- Find out more by visiting www.acraew.org.uk
Registration authorities are responsibile for determining applications to register new town and village greens. More information is available on the town and village green page.
Most decisions of the Commons Commissioners, issued since 1972, relating to the registration and ownership of common land and town or village greens under the Commons Registration Act 1965, are available to download on the website of the Association of Commons Registration Officers.
Page last modified: 14 October 2010
Page published: 30 October 2008