Home > News > Supreme Court to hear argument on statutory incompatibility and village greens

On 15-16 July the Supreme Court heard argument in R (Lancashire CC) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on appeal from the Court of Appeal ([2018] 2 P & CR 15, [2018] EWCA Civ 721).

For a summary of the background, see: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2018-0094.html.

The key issue in the case is the scope of the court’s earlier decision in R (Newhaven Port and Properties Ltd) v East Sussex CC [2015] AC 1547, and the extent of the principle that land held by a public authority for particular purposes may be immune from registration as a village green if those purposes are incompatible with registration of a green.  The Court of Appeal had upheld the Secretary of State’s argument that that principle does not apply where a local authority acquires land for one of its general statutory purposes, but where that land is not required to be held for the purpose in question and where the authority enjoys no specific powers or duties over the land as opposed to the achievement of the general statutory purpose.

Tim Buley QC acts for the Secretary of State.

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