Ms. Ruth Stockley, inspector appointed by Torfaen County Borough Council, has recommended the refusal of registration of the Playing Fields at Llantarnam (formerly the Llantarnam School Playing Fields) as a Town or Village Green. The grounds of the refusal were (1) that the land had not been used for informal recreation by the inhabitants of a ‘neighbourhood’ and (2) that the use relied upon was in the main either contentious, being contrary to clear signs, or according to existing rights of way running over the land. Ms. Stockley’s advice will now be considered by the Council, which will make the final decision as to registration.
The circumstances of this application, where the public has used school playing fields for recreation, is not uncommon. Where the playing field falls out of public use (for example because the school closes) then local residents are concerned to prevent a change of use, and an application to register the land as a Town or Village Green may follow. The Inspector’s decision illustrates the sort of factors that typically have to be considered in coming to a decision.
Leslie Blohm QC instructed by Tim James (Torfaen CBC) represented the Council as landowner at the Inquiry.
View the Inspector’s report: Torfaen County Borough Council
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