On appeal from: [2012] EWCA Civ 1373.

The court was asked to consider whether a playing field situated in Whitby should be registered as a ‘town or village green’ under the Commons Act 2006, s 15. The field had been acquired by the Council and been maintained as ‘recreation grounds’ under the now Housing Act 1985, s 12(1). The CA had dismissed the case on the basis that although the land had been used by significant numbers for the last 20 years as required by s 15 of the 2006 Act, the use had not been ‘as of right’.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal.  The Court ruled that so long as land is held under a provision such as s 12(1) of the 1985 Act, members of the public have a statutory right to use the land for recreational purposes, and therefore use the land ‘by right’ rather than ‘as of right’.

For judgment, please download: [2014] UKSC 31

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

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