In a blog late last year, I wrote about the Ministry of Defence’s application to deregister Warcop common in Cumbria, part of the army training estate. I observed then that Departmental views differed on the lawfulness of the application. I now understand that the application has been withdrawn. If so, the repeal in Cumbria of the Commons Registration Act 1965 means that the Ministry cannot at any time renew its application for deregistration under that Act: the opportunity has passed for good.

The Ministry may explore alternative options available to it, but none seems very promising: after all, the Commons Act 2006 was precisely intended to safeguard registered common land from deregistration.

Schedule 3 to the 2006 Act provides an opportunity to register historic events preceding the date of commencement, but it would be necessary to show that the compulsory acquisition of the rights of the commoners some years ago is a ‘disposition’ not only which caused Warcop common to cease to be common land, but the effect of which was not fully satisfied at the time by registering the extinguishment of the rights.