Villagers reduced to tears by Lord of the Manor's claim to mineral rights in north Pembrokeshire

Western Telegraph: LAND RIGHTS: Residents in Solva have recived letters laying claim to mineral rights.  (3402038) LAND RIGHTS: Residents in Solva have recived letters laying claim to mineral rights. (3402038)

A LORD of the Manor’s claim to ancient land rights has sparked concern among hundreds of north Pembrokeshire homeowners.

Some people in Solva were even reduced to tears by letters from the Land Registry which detailed the claim to what are known as Manorial Rights - laws which date back to the Norman Conquests.

Around 700 homeowners living in the historical area of Dewisland, which includes Solva, have received letters laying claim to the rights of any minerals beneath their feet.

It follows a change in the law that meant that Manorial Rights which were previously automatically protected, had to be formally registered by October 13 2013 or risk being lost.

The letters were sent to detail the claims of Doreen Bowie, who bought the title Lord of the Manor of Dewisland in 1987.

Pembrokeshire County Council has also received the letters as it owns several areas of land around Solva.

Solva resident Sandra Young told the Western Telegraph: “The letter was unnecessarily complicated and was worded in such a way that residents were left bemused and frightened at its possible implication”, Mrs Young told the Western Telegraph.

“Some people believed that the holder of the Manorial Rights owned the land their property was built on. The distress caused was evident as worried villagers were reduced to tears."

Many people were also disturbed to find the letters addressed to deceased or sick relatives.

“The Land Registry has handled the matter insensitively and without any consideration for villagers” added Mrs Young.

In a letter to the Land registry, Solva Community Council said they had been approached by residents concerned that they be see house values drop, no be able to sell their properties and even worries about “bulldozers digging up gardens”.

Ian Fudge, Partner at JCP Solicitors in Haverfordwest said that the law firm had received numerous enquiries from people affected but added that homeowners should not be unduly worried.

“The idea of Manorial Rights is one that is completely alien to many people nowadays but like many areas of law there are these instances that occur every so often.

“However, homeowners really shouldn’t be overly concerned as filing the appropriate UN4 form with Land Registry, will lodge your dispute to the claim. Rest assured there are simple measures that can be taken to protect your property and land.”

A spokesman for the Land Registry told the Western Telegraph: "We do keep our letters, which inform property owners that a third party has put a notice on their title claiming one of these interests, under review to try and make them as simple and clear as we can. We have recently simplified the letter further based on feedback to make it as straightforward as possible.

"However these are quite complicated legal issues and we cannot simplify our letter too far or it will become misleading.

"We do understand that it may cause concern if the owner of the land was not previously aware of any affecting manorial rights or chancel repair liability.

The spokesman added that they were sorry to hear that distress was caused because letters were addressed to deceased people but added: "Land Registry is obliged to send a letter to all the people registered as the owner."

Comments (3)

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11:03am Sat 18 Jan 14

Gogledd says...

May I suggest that you look up Mark Roberts and his fight to gain control of the foreshore at Fishguard Bay/Goodwick sands and harbour in 2003-2007. He claimed he had rights over the land and went to the high court and lost..for anyone interested you can get a full transcript from the internet. It refers to Welsh law and local rights re the Bishops and Diocese of St Davids its hard going but it is interesting reading.
May I suggest that you look up Mark Roberts and his fight to gain control of the foreshore at Fishguard Bay/Goodwick sands and harbour in 2003-2007. He claimed he had rights over the land and went to the high court and lost..for anyone interested you can get a full transcript from the internet. It refers to Welsh law and local rights re the Bishops and Diocese of St Davids its hard going but it is interesting reading. Gogledd
  • Score: 4

1:43pm Sat 18 Jan 14

MrSwadge says...

This is a national issue and fortunately for those affected, Albert Owen the Welsh Labour MP for Anglesey is talking about this in parliament. He debated it in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 15th Jan. He has said he has had a positive reaction to his debate on twitter also. It's great that MPs are talking about it.

We are running a national campaign and are looking to get 100,000 signatures on an e-petition. We are currently looking towards the 19th February to launch this petition, but we need everyone's help in order to get this number of signatures. I urge everyone to share http://manorialright
s.org with their family, friends and co-workers so that we have the best chance of lodging this discontent with the issue of manorial rights.

We have been doing our own research and via a Freedom of Information Act request we have information from the Land Registry indicating that between the beginning of December 2012 and 6 December 2013 we have issued 106,931 B133(OI) notices in respect of manorial rights. These are not the manorial rights claimants, but the properties affected. These can be individuals, companies, for example councils often hold the freehold over leasehold properties (as mentioned in the article). We also found that every county in England and Wales is affected. None are affected in Scotland as in 2000, manorial rights were abolished.

Strangely this is a result of the Land Registration Act 2002, which is supposed to add more clarity and transparency to property ownership, but contrary to that the leaseholders are not made aware of the claim of rights. This seems wrong doesn't it? Freeholders are the only ones who have to be notified. The leaseholders have a 'Caution Against First Registration' put against their property title instead, then when the property is registered with the land registry or converted to freehold, it is then that the situation regarding manorial rights comes to light.

Further information here http://manorialright
s.org/blog/2013/12/1
7/land-registry-b133
oi-notices-widesprea
d/ where a campaign is being run to put pressure on the government to scrap these monstrously out-dated feudalistic laws.
This is a national issue and fortunately for those affected, Albert Owen the Welsh Labour MP for Anglesey is talking about this in parliament. He debated it in Westminster Hall on Wednesday 15th Jan. He has said he has had a positive reaction to his debate on twitter also. It's great that MPs are talking about it. We are running a national campaign and are looking to get 100,000 signatures on an e-petition. We are currently looking towards the 19th February to launch this petition, but we need everyone's help in order to get this number of signatures. I urge everyone to share http://manorialright s.org with their family, friends and co-workers so that we have the best chance of lodging this discontent with the issue of manorial rights. We have been doing our own research and via a Freedom of Information Act request we have information from the Land Registry indicating that between the beginning of December 2012 and 6 December 2013 we have issued 106,931 B133(OI) notices in respect of manorial rights. These are not the manorial rights claimants, but the properties affected. These can be individuals, companies, for example councils often hold the freehold over leasehold properties (as mentioned in the article). We also found that every county in England and Wales is affected. None are affected in Scotland as in 2000, manorial rights were abolished. Strangely this is a result of the Land Registration Act 2002, which is supposed to add more clarity and transparency to property ownership, but contrary to that the leaseholders are not made aware of the claim of rights. This seems wrong doesn't it? Freeholders are the only ones who have to be notified. The leaseholders have a 'Caution Against First Registration' put against their property title instead, then when the property is registered with the land registry or converted to freehold, it is then that the situation regarding manorial rights comes to light. Further information here http://manorialright s.org/blog/2013/12/1 7/land-registry-b133 oi-notices-widesprea d/ where a campaign is being run to put pressure on the government to scrap these monstrously out-dated feudalistic laws. MrSwadge
  • Score: 1

1:45pm Sat 18 Jan 14

MrSwadge says...

The links came out unusually. Here they are again.
http://manorialright
s.org
http://www.manorialr
ights.org
The links came out unusually. Here they are again. http://manorialright s.org http://www.manorialr ights.org MrSwadge
  • Score: 0

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