As a Commons Registration Authority under the Commons Registrations Act 1965, we're in charge of maintaining the Register of Common Land and Town or Village Greens for this area.
The register is available for inspection in electronic form at the Library @ the Lightbox. The address for this is 1 The Glass works, Barnsley, S70 1GW.
Due to the way the details are held it has been needed to introduce an appointment system. To make an appointment contact the Local Land Charges Team on (01226) 773054. Appointments are available Monday to Friday at 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, and 3.30pm.
The Register of Common Land and Town or Village Greens
The register details the extents, rights and ownership in relation to areas of common land or town or village greens. This is as registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965.
Each area of common land and town or village green is listed in the register under a unique unit number. Each unit is divided into three sections.
The Land Section
This includes a description of the land, who applied to register the land, and when the land became finally registered. There are also plans which show the boundaries of the land.
The Rights Section
This includes a description of the rights of common. An example of this could be a right to graze a certain amount of sheep. It also includes the area of common over which the right is exercisable, the name of the holder of the rights and whether the right is attached to land in the ownership of the holder of the right (the commoner) or is a right held in gross. This means that it's unattached to land.
The Ownership Section
This includes details of the owner(s) of the common land. Entries in this section are not held to be conclusive.
Local Authority Searches
Enquiries relating to common land are often raised during the conveyancing process by submitting Optional Enquiry 22 on the Con29 (2016) Form. More details about this can be found by going to the Local Land Charges Service - Local Authority Searches.
What is Common Land?
Common Land and Rights of Common have their origin in the manorial system. Much of the land was used in common by peasants who held customary rights to share in it's produce. This could be for things such as grazing for stock and wood for fires. A proportion of our ancient common land has survived and appears on official Common Land Registers and maps. They're compiled under the Commons Registration Act 1965. Common land is usually in private ownership, and has rights of common over it. The main features of common land are that it's generally open, unfenced and remote. They're usually in the uplands of England. There are, however, some lowland areas of common that are really important for recreational use.
What is a Town or Village Green?
Town or village greens have a similar history to common land. The difference is they're defined separately under the Commons Registration Act, 1965. Village greens are usually areas of land within defined settlements of geographical areas. They're used for exercise and lawful sports and pastimes by local inhabitants or neighbourhoods within a locality. Land forming town or village greens may be privately owned. Many greens are now owned and maintained by local parish or community councils. Some greens may also have rights of common, such as grazing rights over them.
Can common land be developed or fencing carried out?
Works on common land are prohibited under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006 and consent is required.