October 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 31, 2014
A parish council in east Suffolk is seeking to negotiate with its lord of the manor over a land ownership dispute.
Blaxhall Parish Council and Michael Prevost both dispute the ownership of Stone Common, which has been used historically as allotments by the villagers.
Mr Prevost, who claims rights to the land under the lord of the manor title that he bought in January 1998, said his application for ownership is to “clarify a historical situation”. He said he wants to preserve the site as common land as he has “huge reservations” about the council’s ability to protect it.
Councillors discussing the matter at an extraordinary meeting on Monday, however, expressed their own concerns about a private individual taking common land. Councillor Malcolm Browne said it would be “better safeguarded for the future” by the council.
Having objected to Mr Prevost’s application, the Land Registry informed the council the matter was being treated as a dispute, which it could resolve either by withdrawing its objection, negotiating with the applicant or taking the matter to a tribunal.
Parish chairman Graham Bowles suggested it would be “sensible” to negotiate, to begin with, and avoid the legal costs of a tribunal until they knew more of Mr Prevost’s intentions. Councillors voted in agreement.