The Court of Appeal handed down judgment last week in an appeal against a decision of a local authority to register as a town or village green (TVG) an operation quayside in Suffolk. An independent inspector appointed by the registration authority had found that local residents had used Mistley Quay for lawful sports and pastimes throughout a 20 year period ending with the owners erection of a fence which impeded such use, and therefore recommended the registration of the relevant part of the quay. The registration authority accepted the recommendation and Barling J upheld the registration. The owner of the quay appealed the judgment of Barling J on the basis that (1) the effect of registration would be to criminalise its continuing use of the TVG for the same commercial purposes as had taken place throughout the 20-year period, and for that reason the recreational use did not have the necessary quality to support the registration. The Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the appeal and held that (1) the principle of co-existent uses established in R(Lewis) v Redcar and Cleveland BC  UKSC 11 could and did apply in this case (2) the possibility of criminal sanction for those (including an owner) who interfered with the lawful use of the TVG was no impediment to TVG registration (3) there has been no implied permission to use the land for recreational purposes and therefore no reason to deregister the TVG.
Richard Wald acted for the Second Respondent, Mr Tucker, a local resident and the applicant for TVG registration. He led Solicitor Advocate and Instructing Solicitor, Richard Eaton (Partner at Birketts LLP)
To view the full judgment, please click here.