Can highway land become a Village Green?

April 20, 2018

Lawyers are encouraged never to say never on broad points of legal principle. William Upton has just completed a village green public inquiry where the applicant disputed the status of the land as highway verge, and also argued that any highway use would not be incompatible with it being a village green as well.

Many would say that the two uses are by definition statutorily incompatible. There is no direct caselaw on the point, and incompatibility is not an argument that has found favour with regard to dock uses (TW Logistics), or to school land or hospital land (Lancaster CC). The main argument to date has therefore been to argue about the facts, and that the uses described are simply uses of the highway.

The inspector’s report to Kent County Council is now awaited.