Public Notice Regarding Great Wakering Common





The area of land known as Great Wakering Common is owned by Bentall’s with Great Wakering Parish Council being the tenant with their lease expiring in October this year.


‘The Common’ is registered common land and has Public Rights of Way crossing it despite being in the ownership of Bentall’s farms, a not unusual situation. Therefore there would appear to be little effect on the recreational usage of the common if the Parish Council did not renew the lease.

Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

Other than those commons covered by the Law of Property Act 1925, the Commons Act 1899 and other statutes, the public did not have the right to use or enjoy common land if they were not a commoner. However, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 gave the public the right to roam freely on all registered common land in England and Wales. The new rights were gradually introduced throughout England and Wales, with completion in 2005. Maps showing accessible areas are available online as "open access maps" produced by Natural England. Commons are also included in the public access land now shown on the Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps.

However there is concern regarding the possible liabilities the Council is exposing itself to regarding the tenancy of the Common. Main concerns:


  • Public liability - especially with the horse event which is not an officially sanctioned event and over which the Parish Council have no control.

  • Ongoing liabilities including grass- cutting and tree-works and the difficulty in obtaining reasonable quotations for these works, the cost of which currently fall on Parishioners through the Precept.

  • Fly-tipping – this is on the increase with 5 incidents so far this year alone. The clean –up costs currently fall on the Parishioners through the Parish Council Precept.

  • Ditch clearance required at considerable expense.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

  • Potential costs of evicting travellers and possible clear up of site afterwards, this would currently fall on the Parishioners through the Parish Council Precept.

  • Lease length - The current lease term would impose substantial liabilities on the Parish Council for this and many more Council’s terms of Office. However a shorter agreement would obviously mean that legal costs would be substantially increased.  Both parties legal costs are borne by the Parish Council out of the Precept.



S Hyatt - Clerk to the Council

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