The Diocese of St Albans have recently made applications to Herts County Council in respect of glebe land (land owned by the church). This includes Rectory Meadow and one of the allotment fields, named Glebe, which the Parish Council rents.
This application referred to as ‘making a deposit under the Highways Act 1980 and the Commons Act 2006’ does not affect the current use of the land.
A representative from the Diocese has said the following:
The application does not in any way affect the current use of the land, which as you know is let to the Parish Council. The land can continue to be used under their lease just as it is at the moment. In addition, it doesn’t affect the designation of Rectory Meadow, which I understand to be a Local Green Space within the local plan designation which governs the uses to which the land can be put.
The effect of making a deposit is that it resets the clock on any new public rights of way, or commons rights, being acquired based solely on a period of use by the public.
The application was made on the recommendation of the Board’s managing agents that it is prudent management and good stewardship to take this step, especially as the Board holds glebe on behalf of beneficiaries. The Board is making deposits for other glebe land in the diocese in a similar way.