Crown Common Land - Procedure for Adverse Possession

The request was successful.

Dear Land Registry,

I wish to make a Freedom of Information request for answers to questions regarding Crown Common land.

1. If Crown Common land in Wales was registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965 is it currently classed by the Land Registry as registered?

2. Can registered Title for such Crown Common land be obtained from Land Registry via an application to register by Adverse Possession or other means?

3. For such Crown Common land is it a Land Registry requirement that an Applicant submit bona fide evidence, where applicable, that a) The Crown Estate, b) Graziers having Rights of Common or c) Local Council Authority were consulted before an Application to Register Title can be granted?

4. What Public Notices are required by Land Registry announcing the intent to make an Application to Register Title of land and enable opportunity for objections?

5. What is the procedure for obtaining copies of documentation that was submitted to Land Registry in support of a successful Registration of Title?

6. What is the procedure for the restoration of former Title if new registered Title has been obtained principally as a result of accidental or wilful false declaration, misleading or false documentation or significant procedural failure?

Yours faithfully,

M. Allwright

Milne, Patrick, Land Registry

This is our response to this request, which is actually a request for
information about land registration.  I am one of the lawyers working at
Land Registry’s Head Office.

 

Question 1. “If Crown Common land in Wales was registered under the
Commons Registration Act 1965 is it currently classed by the Land Registry
as registered?”

 

Response: The fact that the ownership of common land is recorded in the
ownership section of a commons register does not mean that it is
“registered land” for the purposes of the Land Registration Act 2002.  The
commons register and Land Registry’s register of title are two separate
registers.  You can find out whether land is registered or unregistered
(in the Land Registry register of title) by searching the index map:
[1]https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about....

 

Question 2. “Can registered Title for such Crown Common land be obtained
from Land Registry via an application to register by Adverse Possession or
other means?”

 

Response: In principle, a person may be registered by Land Registry as
proprietor (owner) of common land on the basis of adverse possession in
the same way as they can be registered as proprietor of any other land on
this basis.  Their possession must be for a period of at least 30 years
rather than the usual 12 years if the land is unregistered and was owned
by the Crown; broadly, the period is 10 years if the land is registered,
whether or not the proprietor is the Crown.  However, there can be
difficulties in seeking to establish title by adverse possession: guidance
has been issued by Defra –
[2]https://www.gov.uk/guidance/common-land-...

 

Question 3. “For such Crown Common land is it a Land Registry requirement
that an Applicant submit bona fide evidence, where applicable,  that a)
The Crown Estate, b) Graziers having Rights of Common or c) Local Council
Authority were consulted before an Application to Register Title can be
granted?”

 

Response: We do not require that anyone is consulted by the applicant
prior to their applying to Land Registry.  However, we may serve notice on
these or any other persons before we proceed further with an application.

 

Question 4. “What Public Notices are required by Land Registry announcing
the intent to make an Application to Register Title of land and enable
opportunity for objections?”

 

Response: We would not normally issue “public notices” before completing
an application, but we could do if we thought this was appropriate.

 

Question 5. “What is the procedure for obtaining copies of documentation
that was submitted to Land Registry in support of a successful
Registration of Title?”

 

Response: An application can be made in form OC2.  See our Practice Guide
11:
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

 

Question 6. “What is the procedure for the restoration of former Title if
new registered Title has been obtained principally as a result of
accidental or wilful false declaration, misleading or false documentation
or significant procedural failure?”

 

It may be possible to apply for alteration of the register.  See our
Practice Guide
[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

 

Patrick Milne

 

Assistant Land Registrar

Registration Legal Services Group

Land Registry

 

 

 

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Dear Milne, Patrick,

Thank you for your prompt and concise response.

However, I think you misunderstood my question 4. This is concerning requirements for an Applicant.

As part of the registration process is there an obligation for the Applicant to erect public notices on the land for which he/she intends Adverse Possession, or inform neighbours, the Local Authority or the previously registered owner.
If so, what are the rules?
In the case quoted the previous owner of title would be the Crown Estate as registered under the 1965 Act.

Yours sincerely,

A. WALKER

Milne, Patrick, Land Registry

When you refer to the "registration process", are you talking about
registration with Land Registry or registration in the commons register? 

 

You refer to the previous owner being the Crown Estate: were they
registered as proprietor (owner) in the Land Registry's register of title?

 

Patrick Milne

Assistant Land Registrar

Registration Legal Services Group

Land Registry

 

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Dear Milne, Patrick,

I am referring to registration with the Land Registry.
The Crown Estate has not registered title of this common with the Land Registry. It did submit its land plan to the Local Authority for Commons Registration following the 1965 Act.

Title has since been privately registered with Land Registry for a small section of this common. This section has been historically used by all classes of users as a public through road and sole connection to the end of a Byway Open To All Traffic to date, but has now been obstructed by the Title holder.

As part of the registration process is there an obligation for an Applicant to erect public notices on the land for which they intend Adverse Possession, or to separately inform graziers, adjacent land owners, the Local Authority or the Crown Estate where the land applied for is either on the Commons Register or directly adjoins land on the Commons Register?

Yours sincerely,

A. WALKER

Milne, Patrick, Land Registry

Dear Mr or Ms Walker (I am sorry, but I have only the initial of your
first name),

 

Thank you for this clarification.

 

There is no obligation on someone who is intending to apply for first
registration of their title to land, based on adverse possession, to
"erect public notices on the land" or otherwise to "inform graziers,
adjacent land owners, the Local Authority or the Crown Estate".  However,
we would may serve notice on these or any other persons before we proceed
further with an application – and by "serve notice" I mean Land Registry
writing to the persons to inform them about the application and to give
them an opportunity to object.  Further information is contained in our
Practice Guide:
 [1]https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio....

 

Patrick Milne

Assistant Land Registrar

Registration Legal Services Group

Land Registry

 

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