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Commons registration authorities

The council (as a Commons Registration Authority) is responsible for maintaining the registers of common land and village greens in South Gloucestershire​

Commons Registration Authorities (CRAs) were established by the commons Registration Act of 1965 (the 1965 act). The purpose of the act was to introduce the requirement to compile local authority registers and the registration of all common land. The CRA is responsible for maintaining the registers of common land and town and village greens, in its registerable area and has administrative functions only. The registers it maintains are available for public inspection free of charge, during normal working hours from Monday to Friday, preferably by prior appointment with the Land Charges Section. The CRA also carries out statutory searches of the common land and town/village green registers. As from 1 October 2007 such a search is carried out by asking for an answer to Question 22 on the CON 29O Form which is submitted to the Local Land Charges Section.

Whilst information can be provided to members of the public about procedures, where legal advice/interpretation of the law is required, independent legal advice must be obtained. Each area of common land and town or village green is listed in the registers under a unique ‘unit number’. A ‘CL’ prefix defines the land as common. Likewise, a ‘VG’ prefix defines the land as town or village green. A list of the units shown in each register is maintained which contains additional information about the unit, however, you should not rely on this information and it does not replace an inspection of the appropriate register.

Following the enactment of provisions contained in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, the general public has been given a right of access on foot to certain areas of ‘access land’ which includes registered common land. Natural England (The Countryside Agency) have published maps showing the land (including commons) to which the public will have access. Conclusive maps for the finally mapped areas have been published and are available from their website. ​

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