25 Wednesday Feb 2015
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 276.
Newhaven Town Council applied to the County Council to register a harbour foreshore as a town or village green on the basis that it had been used by a significant number of local inhabitants “as of right” for a period of at least 20 years. The issue raised was whether the County Council was wrong in law to decide to register the Beach as a village green under the Commons Act 2006. Held: upholding the harbour company’s appeal. The pubic enjoyed an implied licence arising from the harbour company’s Byelaws and therefore the use was not “as of right”. Use “as of right” means use without any right, whether derived from custom and usage, statute, prescription or express or implied permission of the owner. A majority felt that the Commons Act 2006 could be interpreted so as to enable registration of land as a town or village green if such registration was incompatible with some other statutory function.