Determination of Town and Village Green Application VG107 relating to land at 'Waterbarn Recreation Ground', Waterbarn Lane, Stacksteads, Bacup
Decision Maker: Regulatory Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
The appointment of an Inspector to hear the
evidence and report in respect of Application No. VG107 relating to
land at 'Waterbarn Recreation Ground', Waterbarn Lane, Stacksteads,
A report was presented in relation to the appointment of an Inspector to hear the evidence and report in respect of Application No. VG107 relating to land at 'Waterbarn Recreation Ground', Waterbarn Lane, Stacksteads, Bacup.
The Committee had considered a report at their meeting in June 2019 on the establishment of a Special Sub-Committee with power to act in relation to this application and resolved as follows:
'(i) Approved the establishment of a Special Sub-Committee to determine Application No. VG107 relating to land at Waterbarn Recreation Ground, Waterbarn Lane, Stacksteads, Bacup.
(ii) Agreed that, subject to the above, the membership of the Special Sub-Committee for VG 107 be drawn from 3 members of the Regulatory Committee, on the basis of 2 members of the Conservative Group and 1 member of the Labour Group.
(iii) Agreed that nominations to serve on the Special Sub-Committee be submitted by the respective political group secretaries.
(iv) Agreed that the quorum for the Special Sub-Committee be 2 members.'
It was reported that, following Committee's meeting in June 2019, the legal representatives of the current landowners (TMJ Contractors Limited) had raised concerns with regards to the Authority's proposed use of a "hearing before members" to test the evidence, which was a procedure sitting outside the statutory provision for an Inquiry before an Inspector. The Committee was advised that although the non-statutory procedure was a lawful and proper procedure, a challenge to its use would involve the authority in expense and officer time.
The documents related to this matter were also becoming larger by number and size and significant new decisions dealt with by the senior courts in connection with Town Green law had recently been handed down.
In view of the above, the Committee were advised that the primary preference to deal with this application to hold a non-statutory hearing in front of Members was now considered less suitable.
In the circumstances, the details of which were provided in the report, it was advised that a public Inquiry be held, as prescribed under the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014, appointing an Inspector to hold the Inquiry, and to provide a report and recommendation to the determining authority. Committee Members were advised they could attend the inquiry and listen if they so wished but that it would be the Inspector who would prepare the report and recommendation.
It was reported that, following the public inquiry, the independent Inspector would make a recommendation as to whether the application met the statutory criteria under Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006. Once the Inspector's report and recommendation had been received, the officer would prepare a report for consideration by the Special Sub-Committee, including all the relevant documents. In addition, the Special Sub-Committee would have received relevant information and training.
Resolved: That the Registration Authority hold a "public inquiry" as prescribed under the Commons Registration (England) Regulations 2014 (the Regulations) in particular Part 3 thereof to appoint an Inspector to hold the inquiry and to provide a report and recommendation to the determining authority in connection with the Application VG107 relating to land at 'Waterbarn Recreation Ground', Waterbarn Lane, Stacksteads, Bacup.
Report author: Lindsay Campy
Date of decision: 29/01/2020
Decided at meeting: 29/01/2020 - Regulatory Committee