Tuesday 9 May 2017

We have sent our letter of objection to the MoD's application to de-register Murton Common, Hilton Common and Burton and Warcop Fell Common  to the Commons Registration Office, Cumbria County Council.

In essence we object to this application on three counts;

Public Interest: Common Land is a highly valued asset and the overarching purpose of the Commons Act 2006 is to protect the extent and quality of common land. The Warcop commons collectively at 4,500 ha comprise a significant area of registered common land whose deregistration would significantly diminish the stock of this asset and the unique public benefits that flow from its designation.

Confidence in the integrity of the Government: The Secretary of State for Defence through this application is reneging on its undertaking made at the public inquiry in 2001. This undertaking was not to seek to deregister the land as common land and if the land was ever at risk from deregistration through the unity of ownership of the rights and land then the Secretary of State for Defence would create four rights of common each to graze one sheep on Christmas Day. It was on this basis that the commoners voluntarily agreed to sell their rights and to withdraw their objections to the proposal at the Public
Inquiry. The Ministry of Defence’s stated reasons in their consultation for now seeking the deregistration of this land are spurious and reflect a poor understanding of the law and process concerning the creation of Commons Councils.

Granting the application would be unlawful: The application fails to meet the legal tests for deregistration required by Schedule 3 of the Commons Act 2006 and associated legislation and regulations and so should be rejected by Cumbria County Council who otherwise risk acting ultra vires. This land is we consider still common land as it has not met the two tests that would mean it is no longer classed as common land and hence deregisterable. These are that there are no rights of common and that the land is not waste of the manor. As the Secretary of Defence has not provided any evidence to the Council that these tests have been met then deregistration under Schedule
cannot lawfully occur.

You can read the full letter here

PDF icon fcl-jcwa-ccc-re-warcop-08-05-17.pdf1.19 MB