Interesting High Court decision reported last week in CothamSchool, R (On the Application Of) v Bristol City Council  EWHC1022. The High Court ruled to overturn the local council committee's previous ruling to grant Town and Village Green status over a school playing fields site.
The case clarified how the prominent display of signs on the property can be a significant factor. During the case, the Judge commented that the landowner had “made his position about [the Property's] its use clear [on a permissive basis]through the erection of clearly visible signs. Accordingly it followed that the unauthorised use of the land cannot be said to be ‘as of right’”.
A High Court judge has upheld a legal challenge by a school in Bristol and indicated that he will quash a council committee’s decision to register land as a village green. On 14 October 2016 a planning inspector recommended in a written report [rejected by the local authority planning committee] that the land should not be registered as a green. He expressed the view that one aspect of the statutory test for registration had not been satisfied – the user of the land could not be said to be “as of right”, with Avon County Council having in the mid-1980s erected three signs warning members of the public not to trespass on the playing fields. [Agreeing with the conclusions of the inspector, the judge agreed with the recommendations of the inspector.]