A field in Whitby, North Yorkshire, cannot be registered as a ‘town or village green’ despite the fact that its owner, Scarborough Borough Council, has allowed its informal use for playing football and walking dogs for more than 20 years, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Leading a judgment largely turning on the meaning of the phrase ‘as of right’, Lord Neuberger dismissed an appeal in R (on the application of Barkas) v North Yorkshire County Council and another.