Common land is usually privately owned land that is subject to rights of common. A right of common can be defined as the right for someone to use the product of another man's land in common with the owner of the soil. Rights holders are often referred to as Commoners or Graziers. Common land is usually less cultivated than the surrounding farmland and forms an important resource for nature conservation, recreation and agriculture.
The Council is responsible for maintaining a Register of Common Land and a Register of Town or Village Greens and currently holds the registers compiled by the three former counties of Breconshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire.
The registers were compiled, under the Commons Registration Act 1965, between 1967 and 1970 and contain information about all the registered common land and village greens in Powys.
Every area of registered land is listed in the registers under a unique Unit (CL or VG) Number. The registers also show if there are any rights of common over the land and record details of claims to ownership.
We can give information about procedures but we can’t give legal advice. If you need legal advice or an interpretation of the law, a solicitor will be able to help.
To make an official search of the commons registers, you will need to use Question 22.1 and 22.2 in the widely-used conveyancing form, known as ‘CON 29(O) Optional Enquiries of the Local Authority’.
Question 22.1 reads: "Is the property, or any land which abuts the property, registered common land or town or village green under the Commons Registration Act 1965 or Commons Act 2006?"
A CON29(O) commons search enquiry only shows whether a parcel of land or property is registered as common land or as town or village green in the Official Registers. If you want to know whether a parcel of land or property has the benefit of grazing rights over any adjoining or nearby common land please contact Commons Registration for details. Please note that there will be a fee for copies of register entries and maps.
For more information, please see the Land Charges Search pages
You can view the statutory Registers and Register Maps, free of charge, during normal office hours.
A prior appointment is necessary to ensure that an Officer is on hand to help you with your enquiry.
The Registers and Maps are held at our offices at The Gwalia, Llandrindod Wells.
For information about official searches of the Commons Register, please see the information about Commons Registration searches.
Please submit your request in writing and enclose a plan to identify the land concerned. Payments can be made by cheque or by Credit/Debit card over the telephone.
Section 13 of the Commons Registration Act 1965 gives the Registration Authority a limited power to amend the information held in the registers.
Changes can be made under section 13(a) - when land ceases to be common land or village green; and Section 13(b) - when land becomes common land or village green.
Note that, with effect from the 6th September 2007 in Wales, it is only possible to remove land from the registers where the application under S13(a) is in consequence of any statutory powers (e.g. exchange of land or compulsory purchase order.)
Changes can be made when Title is registered at HM Land Registry.
The registration of ownership in the commons registers is not conclusive evidence of legal title to the land. A registration of Title at the Land Registry supersedes an entry in the commons registers. However, this event will not affect the legal status of the land as registered common land.
Changes can be made when grazing rights are apportioned, extinguished or released, varied or transferred.
Whenever land, with attached rights, is sold in lots, the right of common must be apportioned on a pro-rata basis according to acreage.
Attached rights of common such as grazing rights cannot be sold separately from the land (this is known as severance.) Section 9 of the Commons Act 2006 prohibits the severance of rights of common with retrospective effect from the 28th June 2005.
Application to amend the Rights Section of the register should be made by means of a statutory CR Form 19 (Revised), "Application for the amendment of a register in relation to a right of common". There is currently no fee for making a CR Form 19 application.
The 2006 Act acknowledges that the Commons Registration Act 1965 has proved to have deficiencies and provides a mechanism to replace and improve the current registration system
Powys County Council will continue to keep the Registers of Common Land and of Town or Village Greens established under the 1965 Act and will be required to bring these registers up-to-date providing an accurate record to underpin the future management of common land.
For more information, please see the Welsh Government website.
Commons Registration notices:
We will tell you about legal procedures that are in progress in relation to the registers of Common Land and Town or Village Greens on our page called 'Commons registration - Legal notices'.
Members of the public are now able to apply to make changes to the Register of Common Land in Wales, if they believe that it is incorrect and have evidence to support that.
The Regulations explain the types of application that can be made and the way in which they will be processed and decided.
Fees are payable for certain types of ‘corrective’ application. For these, applicants will be expected to meet all costs associated with the process, which will include the Council’s time in:
The cost of assessing these applications reflects the fact that specialist Commons Registration and legal input will be required.
The fee that must be submitted with each type of application is shown in the attached table. This is the minimum cost of processing the application to completion, if no objections are made. The instalments payable for opposed applications are also shown.
The decision about the outcome of individual applications will be made by either the Council, as the Commons Registration Authority, or by the Planning Inspectorate. This will depend on whether the application is opposed, the nature of the objection(s) and the type of application made. Please be aware that:
Please see the attached application forms and guidance notes for further information.
Please note that Powys County Council will record the actual time taken and will notify applicants if the costs exceed the amounts shown. All instalments must be paid before any further work is carried out on the application by the Council.
In May 2005, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 gave the public right to access all registered common land on foot. For more information, please see the page about Access to the Countryside and Common Land.