A RURAL business group has welcomed new consultation on village green legislation.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has been calling for reform of the law since 2006 following a surge in applications for village green registration.
Around 200 such bids are now submitted every year as the process is used to block or delay developments.
However, the CLA is campaigning for more balance between protecting open spaces and enabling countryside development.
CLA North East Director Angus Collingwood-Cameron said: “Once an area of land is designated as a town or village green any development on it is prohibited, even if planning permission has already been granted.
“Genuine applications for village green registrations must be allowed, but too often spurious applications are made which frustrate the planning system and block developments much needed by communities.”
He added: “There must be a balance between protecting green spaces genuinely valued by locals and enabling legitimate and appropriate development to take place.”
Consultation on the issue has been opened by Defra.