A village green on the South Bank?

by on for Estates Gazette

Nicky Richmond and Rachel Lee consider whether a famous London skateboarding venue could be registered to escape redevelopment

Anyone who has visited the arts complex on London’s South Bank will recognise the skateboarding site in the undercroft. It has been a fixture for around 40 years and has become a tourist attraction in its own right.

However, plans have recently been announced to redevelop the undercroft as part of a £120m scheme, which includes retail and restaurants. Invariably, the plans have attracted dissent, not least from the pressure group Long Live Southbank, which has submitted an application to Lambeth Council for the site to be given village green status.

The classic perception of a village green is an area of grassland in the middle of, or adjacent to, a village. However, case law, notably R (on the application of Newhaven Port & Properties Ltd) v East Sussex County Council (2012) EWHC 647 (Admin); [2012] PLSCS 72, where a tidal beach was registered, has given the term broader meaning and it can encompass woodlands, moorland, sports grounds, buildings and roads.

But will the definition of village green apply to the undercroft?

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