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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 11442
Experience:  30 years experience in property law.
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Our parish council has acquired a 99-year lease on a field

Resolved Question:

Our parish council has acquired a 99-year lease on a field owned by the county council. It was formerly used as a school playing field, although it is nowhere near the school. The parish council has resolved to rename the ground " the village green", to indicate it is a green space for the use of the whole village. There has been a suggestion that we cannot call it "the village green" as village greens have a separate legal status. As the ground will be used effectively in the same way as an officially registered "village Green" and as the term has been used for centuries as a generic title for an open green place in the middle of a village, can you please confirm whether we are in order to call the field "the village green", or if this might be deemed "passing-off" or "misleading". Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Apart from the general use of the term, Village Green has a specific legal meaning in England and Wales, and also includes the less common term Town Greens. Town and village greens were defined in the Commons Registration Act 1965, as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, as land:
which has been allotted by or under any Act for the exercise or recreation of the inhabitants of any locality
or on which the inhabitants of any locality have a customary right to indulge in lawful sports and pastimes
or if it is land on which for not fewer than twenty years a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged in lawful sports and pastimes as of right.
However irrespective of the specific legal meaning of the term "village green" there is no reason why the land you refer to can't be called the village green. Passing off does not refer to areas of land and naming the land as the village green is not in any way misleading.
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