Apply to register land or change an existing registration

Learn about the process to register land or change registrations and find answers to frequently asked questions.

As a registration authority, North Yorkshire County Council is responsible for processing common land and village green applications. Part of our role is to decide on your application and we must remain impartial. Therefore, we cannot offer specific advice on individual applications. You are responsible for both deciding which form is appropriate for the type of amendment you want to make and for completing the form.

Please consider taking independent expert advice, such as from a solicitor with experience in this area of law, if you need detailed guidance. You may also be able to get help from organisations such as the National Farmers' Union, the Country Land and Business Association or the Open Spaces Society.

Copies of documents received with applications are non-returnable and are retained by us for future reference. Please do not provide original documents you want to keep for your own records.

An application may not relate to more than one update. Separate forms are to be used for each individual proposed update.

You can visit this GOV.UK web page to download application forms.

Frequently asked questions

The common land and village green registers are public documents and anyone can view them free of charge.

The registers are kept at County Hall in Northallerton. Please contact us by phone on 01609 780780 or email us to make an appointment. Our office hours are 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Copies of the register pages can be provided for a fee.

You may be able to apply to remove land from the registers if you can prove it was wrongly registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965.

You can also apply to deregister common land or town or village greens where the land was built upon at the time of its original registration, and remains built upon at the time your application is decided.

Additionally, under section 16 of the Commons Act 2006 you can apply to deregister common land and village greens to allow development to take place if (in most cases) you give replacement land in exchange and the overall application is in the public interest. However, the Commons Act 2006 provides safeguards for common land against deregistration to ensure its long-term protection.

Application form to deregister common land or village greens

Under section 19 of the Commons Act 2006, you can apply to correct any error in the registers made by the registration authority.

You can also correct some other types of error which do not increase or reduce the area of land registered as common land and town and village green and do not affect the quantification of a right of common. You must provide evidence showing what caused the inaccuracy in the register.

The following may be corrected:

Mistakes made by the registration authority

You can apply to correct any mistake the registration authority made when recording an entry in the registers, such as:

  • if the registration authority made an error when mapping the boundary of land during the provisional registration; or
  • if, in amending an entry in the registers, the registration authority made an error when entering the number of rights.

The applicant is responsible for providing evidence the registration authority made the mistake.

Duplicate entries

You can remove a duplicate entry in the registers. Duplicate entries generally occur where an application was made for a provisional registration of a right of common under the Commons Registration Act 1965 by both a farm's tenant entitled to exercise the right and the farm's owner, and no objection was made to either registration at the time and both became final.

Other mistakes not affecting land or quantification of rights

You can apply to correct any other mistake in the registers, provided the amendment would not affect the extent of the land registered nor the quantification of any right of common.

For example:

  • You can apply to correct the identification of the farm or holding to which a right of common is registered as being attached.
  • You can apply to correct a mistake in identifying the land over which a right of common is exercisable, such as if the right is exercisable over the whole of the land rather than a particular part.

Under Section 19(2)(d) of the Commons Act 2006, it is only possible to change a name or address if you are the original registered owner of a right of common held in gross.

If you have bought a right held in gross, you can apply under Section 12 of the Commons Act 2006 to transfer that right.

If you are the owner of a right of common and you wish to change the name of the person who is exercising those rights, you can apply under Regulation 43 of The Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014 to declare your claim and have your name added to the register.

If you are the owner of a right of common and you wish to update an address in the register, please contact us with that information by telephoning 01609 780780 or emailing commons.registration@northyorks.gov.uk

Provision under, or for the purpose of which, the application is made Application form Purpose of application Application fee
Section 6 of the 2006 Act CA1 Creation of a right of common over existing common land £240
Section 7 of the 2006 Act CA2 Variation of a right of common £240
Section 8 of the 2006 Act CA3 Apportionment of a right of common £240
Section 11 of the 2006 Act CA5 Reallocation of attached rights £240
Section 12 of the 2006 Act CA6 Transfer of a right in gross £90
Section 13 of the 2006 Act CA7 Surrender or extinguishment of a right of common £180
Section 4, paragraph 8 of the 2006 Act CA8 Statutory disposition pursuant to section 14 of the 2006 act (including the exchange of land for land subject to a statutory disposition) £360
Section 19 of the 2006 Act  CA10 Correction, for a purpose described in section 19(2)(d) £40
Section 19 of the 2006 Act CA10 Correction, for a purpose described in 19(2)(b) or (e) £240
Schedule 1, paragraph 19(6)(b), to the 2006 Act CA11 Severance by transfer to public bodies £60
Schedule 1, paragraph 3 (7)(b), to the 2006 Act CA12 Severance by authorised order £180
Schedule 2, paragraphs 6 - 9, to the 2006 Act CA13 Deregistration of certain land registered as common land or as a town or village green £1,200
Regulation 43 of the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014 CA15 Declaration of entitlement to exercise a right of common £60
Section 15A(1) of the 2006 Act CA16 Deposits under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 and section 15A(1) of the Commons Act 2006 (note: the £350 fee includes the posting of two notices on site. Any additional notices required will cost £25 each) £350

There is no fee for the following types of applications:

Provision under, or for the purpose of which, the application is made     Application form Purpose of application
Section 6 of the 2006 Act CA1 Creation of a right of common resulting in the registration of new common land
Section 7 of the 2006 Act CA2 Variation of a right of common resulting in the registration of new common land
Section 10 of the 2006 Act CA4 Attachment of a right of common
Section 15(1) or section 15(8) of the 2006 Act CA9 Registration of a new town or village green by the owner or someone other than by the owner
Section 19 of the 2006 Act CA10 Correction, for a purpose described in section 19(2)(a) or (c)
Schedule 2, paragraph 2 or 3, to the 2006 Act CA13 Non-registration of common land or town or village green
Schedule 2, paragraph 4, to the 2006 Act  CA13 Waste land of a manor not registered as common land
Schedule 2, paragraph 5, to the 2006 Act CA13 Town or village green wrongly registered as common land
Schedule 3, paragraph 2 or 4, to the 2006 Act CA14 Historic creation of a right of common, surrender or extinguishment of a right of common, variation of a right of common, apportionment of a right of common (to facilitate any other purpose), severance of a right of common, transfer of a right in gross or statutory disposition (including the exchange of land for land subject to a statutory disposition)
Step in application process Timescale
We receive an application, supporting evidence and fee (if applicable). Receipt acknowledged within five working days.
The application is reviewed to determine whether it has been duly made or not. This depends on how much evidence is provided and whether we requires further information from you about your application. We may also ask for advice from our legal services department.
We decide if the application has met all the criteria set out in the Commons Act 2006 and the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014. You are informed of the decision within five working days of determination. If rejected submissions are returned, you may have the opportunity to resubmit the application if you can address any issues we highlight.
The application is processed (notice, plans, letters are written and a date negotiated with appropriate departments for statutory publication of notices). 20 working days.
Notice period. Once the notice period begins, 42 days are required to allow any representations to be received.
Applicants are informed of any representations received. You have 21 days to respond to any representations.
Representations review. An undefined period where responses and counter responses between an applicant and those making representations can be made.
Unless the application is referred to the Planning Inspectorate, we will make a decision together with a recommendation to committee as appropriate. After reviewing all representations, we will decide to accept or reject the application. The applicant and those who made representations will be informed of the decision and it will also be published on our website.
Committee. Applications involving adding or removing land from the registers require final approval from the planning and regulatory function sub-committee.
Successful application. You are informed of the decision and the appropriate register is updated.
Unsuccessful application. The entire original submission is returned to you.
A Planning Inspectorate referral is required. An additional fee will be charged if your application is referred to the Planning Inspectorate. Please refer to schedule 6 of the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014.
Declarations for CA15 applications. This application does not require a notice period. Registers should be amended and a copy sent to the applicant 20 working days from the date the application was deemed duly made.

New rights

Under section 6 of the Commons Act 2006, you can apply to create and register a new right of common either over existing common land or over unregistered land, which results in the land becoming common land.

You can apply only if you are the owner of the land over which the right will be exercisable or the land to which the right will be attached. Any new right of common must be attached to land in order for it to become exercisable.

Existing rights

Under section 7 of the Commons Act 2006, you can apply to vary an existing right of common so it becomes exercisable over new land, in replacement or in addition to the existing common land, or is otherwise varied, such as the stock which may be grazed.

You can apply if you are the owner of the:

  • common over which the rights are exercisable or will be exercisable; 
  • land to which the rights are attached; or  
  • right held in gross.

If the transfer of a right of common held in gross occurred on or between 2 January 1970 and 15 December 2014, then you can apply to transfer the right held in gross under Schedule 3 of the Commons Act 2006. If the transfer occurred after the 15 December 2014, then you can apply under Section 12 of the Commons Act 2006.

You can apply only if you are the registered owner of the right or the person to whom the right will be transferred.

You may be able to apply to register land as common land if its registration under the Commons Registration Act 1965 was cancelled by the commons commissioner in certain circumstances, or if the land is recognised as common land under a statutory scheme of management or local act.

You cannot register rights of common which should have been registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965 as those rights were extinguished in 1970.

However, you must apply before 14 December 2017 to register any new rights of common acquired since 1970 or the rights will be extinguished.

You are not required to do anything if you sold your land with rights of common attached. The rights remain attached to the land.

However, if you severed the rights from the land, surrendered or varied them any time since 1970, you must apply before 14 December 2017 to update the register.

Under paragraphs 6 or 8 of schedule 2 to the Commons Act 2006, you may be able to apply to deregister land that is, or has been, covered by a building or the curtilage of a building ever since the land was registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965.

Such land typically include cottages or gardens on or next to the registered land. It does not matter whether the building or curtilage was lawfully present on the land when the land was provisionally registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965. It is not necessary that the land has been covered by the same building throughout the period since the date of provisional registration.

Apportion a right of common

Under section 8 of the Commons Act 2006, you can apply to apportion a right of common to reflect an ownership change of part of the land to which a right of common is attached.

For example:

A farm has a right to graze 30 sheep but the farm is subsequently divided into three equally sized lots, with each owner being entitled to the right to graze ten sheep on each lot.

In this case, you can apply to update the original right in the register to show the entitlement belonging to the owner of each plot.

Reallocate an attached right of common

Under section 11 of the Commons Act 2006, you can apply to reallocate a right of common attached to land where part of the land has been or will be put to non-agricultural use.

For example:

You can apply where part of the land to which the right is attached has been acquired for development, such as a new road, by compulsory purchase. You can apply only if you are the owner of the land to which the right of common is attached.

Extinguish a right of common

Under section 13 of the Commons Act 2006, you can apply to extinguish a right of common.

You can apply only if you own the land to which the right is attached or hold the right of common in gross, or if you own any part of the land over which the right of common is exercisable.

Under section 10 of the Commons Act 2006, you can apply to attach to land, such as a farm holding, a right of common you hold in gross so the right will be exercisable by the owner of the land in the future.

You can apply only if you are the owner of the right of common held in gross.

Applications can be made under section 14 of the Commons Act 2006 to amend the registers because of a statutory disposition which has a significant effect on the registers.

This usually occurs where common land, town or village greens or rights of common are acquired compulsory, sometimes with other land being given in exchange. Generally there is a duty on those bodies making the compulsory purchase to apply to have the registers amended. Therefore, you cannot normally apply under section 14 of the Commons Act 2006 unless the duty falls on you. It may be helpful to draw our attention to any statutory disposition which has not been registered under this section.

Under Schedule 3 of the Commons Act 2006, there is an opportunity to update the registers to show changes that have happened in the past.

This application period closes on 14 December 2017. After that date your application may not be accepted or unregistered changes may result in rights being extinguished or revived.

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