title="Over Parish Council in Cambridgeshire">

News  »  Register of Land under Parish Council control

   Register of Land under Parish Council control    28 January, 2014

The Parish Council looks after many pieces of land throughout the Parish on behalf of local residents. Its more recent acquisitions are fully supported by Land Registry documentation, but there are also many pieces of land that were acquired in the distant past where the equivalent level of documentation simply does not exist.

The long-term residents of Over are well aware which pieces of land belong to the Parish and are under Parish Council control, but we are now trying to document and formalise that arrangement wherever possible before their memories fade and for the benefit of more recent arrivals.

The Land Registry recognises the issue for Councils trying to register historic pieces of land, and says in its Practice Guide 1, para 6.7: "Where land has not changed hands for centuries it may be impossible to deduce title in the normal way because the applicant has no satisfactory documents of title. In extreme cases there may be no record at all of the circumstances in which the land was acquired. ......... In cases involving ancient possessions, where the deeds (if any) cannot be easily identified or do not clearly identify the land, you must lodge a statutory declaration in support of the application."

The Council has had to rely on such sworn declarations in a few cases of dispute over the years, and they are always regarded as equivalent proof of title. In the hope of preventing future misunderstandings, and as a matter of public information, it is creating a public register of the land under its control. This is still under development and will grow as further documents are located, collated and copied - and it can be found in the Parish Council section of this website.

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