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Update on the Manorial Rights issue

Update – The latest PC minutes confirm that William Brown has withdrawn his manorial rights application for the sports field and Palmer’s Field. The application on the Whitley Road playing fields still stands, the PC remains opposed. Click here for a copy of the February Parish Council minutes.

There were at least 80 members of the public in attendance at the the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 8th January, many of whom were there to hear the discussions regarding the Manorial Rights issue. For related links, please see the end of this article.

For the latest update, please view the minutes via this news item, or see the following report from Trish Rushen, as posted in the forum (link here):

The Memorial Hall was packed out last night – standing room only at the beginning of the meeting, to hear what Mr William Brown had to say about the matter of registering and maintaining manorial rights which had been acquired by his great-grandfather in 1892. Mr Brown first apologised profusely to those who had received notice of his intention to register the rights without him informing them first. He said he greatly regretted this and understood the anger felt by those who had received such notice.

He then went on to state why he had registered his right to maintain manorial rights on certain land in the village (some in private and some in public ie Parish Council ownership). There has been a change in the law which necessitated those who believe they have manorial rights to register them with the Land Registry by October 13th of last year, 2013. The explanation of this which is long and slightly complicated appears on the Land Registry website (link here).

To summarise a long but calm and reasonable (mostly) discussion between Mr Brown, the Parish Council and members of the public (some of whose land may have been affected), it was agreed that the Parish Council would submit a form UN4 (I think) objecting to or disputing Mr Brown’s application while further research was done by both the Brown family (who admitted that documentation and all paperwork was not complete) and the Parish Council.

Mr Brown’s wife, during public participation, asked that this be viewed rather as a historical event which could and should be resolved with the co-operation of all involved, than a hostile bid for ownership preventing village projects being achieved as no such intention was there. She suggested that any talk of involving lawyers (and there had been some, apparently, talk I mean) be put on hold and the Parish Council took this on board, as members of the public had no appetite for using public money for such purposes, particularly at such an early stage.

This form UN 4 has to be submitted by 16th January I think, so a vote was taken (by members of the Parish Council) to agree to go ahead with this submission. Mr Brown abstained from this vote (as he deemed he should) but said, when asked by the Chairman, that he would have voted with the rest of the Parish Council to send this form.

There was obviously a lot more to this discussion than can be reported here, but no doubt a summary of it will appear in the minutes taken by the clerk to the council Karen Clay, and there was also present a member of the Press, Anna Mauremootoo from the Gazette and Herald, so probaby a report will appear in next week’s local paper, too.

As for fracking, drilling for oil etc, this does not come into the equation as such rights are owned by the Crown, and Mr Brown would have no rights on this matter at all, so any talk of that is a red herring and not relevant to the discussion. There was talk about grants not being able to be given on land which has manorial rights pertaining to it (Palmer’s Field for example), but this is unresearched as yet and would have to be tested some way down the line.

Anna Mauremootto’s report on this story on the Gazette & Herald’s website can be seen via this link.

A Manorial rights article on the Guardian website can be seen via this link.

Manorial rights articles on the Telegraph website can be seen via this first link and this second link. This site operates a metered paywall, you’ll be asked to subscribe after viewing the site 20 times.

A Manorial rights article on the Daily Mail website can be seen via this link.

A website dedicated to the issue can be found here: http://www.manorialrights.org.

Posted by: RB on 17th February 2014