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We are responsible for the management of five commons in Stevenage.

These are:

  • Fishers Green
  • Letchmore Common
  • Norton Green Common
  • Six Hills Common
  • Symonds Green

Management of commons

The commons are managed under the Scheme of Regulation and Management Commons Act 1899. 

The Church Commission has covenant over most our commons. This means that we must consult with them before we break ground.

Statutory protection of common land

Common land is protected under several Acts of Parliament. Listed below are brief summaries of the most relevant Acts. You will need to undertake further research if you wish to find out more about specific Acts of Parliament.

The Law of Property Act 1925 (Section 194)

Under this Section, it is unlawful to construct buildings, erect fences or carry out any other works which prevent access to common land unless the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has given permission, or unless the erection of fences will help to prevent accidents. In deciding whether to give permission, the Secretary of State has to take into account the benefits to the neighbourhood and to any private interests in the land.

The Law of Commons Amendment Act 1893 (Section 2)

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs must grant permission for common land to be used. The decision must be based on whether the use of common land is a benefit to the neighbourhood.

National Trust Acts 1907 (Section 29) and 1971 (Section 23)

This requires the National Trust to keep all commons or commonable land open and unbuilt on as open spaces for the recreation and enjoyment of the public.

Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 34)

This makes it unlawful for a person to drive or park a motor vehicle on any common land without lawful authority. It is not an offence to drive on land in emergency situations.

Section 68 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

Subject to certain qualifying criteria being met, this allows vehicular access over land where it is currently an offence to drive a vehicle.