On appeal from: [2018] EWCA Civ 721

The issue in the two appeals relates to the circumstances in which statutory incompatibility will defeat an application by a member of the public to register land as a town or village green under the Commons Act 2006 where the land is held by a public authority for statutory purposes.

By a majority, the Supreme Court allowed the appeals in both cases. The inspector’s finding in the Lancaster case that the land was not acquired and held pursuant to statutory education purposes was inconsistent with the evidence and irrational. Therefore the central issue in both the cases under appeal was the interpretation and application of the statutory incompatibility ground of decision identified in the majority judgment in the Supreme Court in R (Newhaven Port & Properties Ltd) v East Sussex County Council [2015] UKSC 7.

The majority’s opinion was that Newhaven authoritatively interpreted the Act to mean that where land is acquired and held for defined statutory purposes by a public authority, the Act does not enable the public to acquire rights over that land by registering it as a green where such registration would be incompatible with those statutory purposes.

For judgment, please download: Judgment

For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary

For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing please visit: 15 July 2019 morning session, 16 July 2019 morning session and afternoon session.