Mines and minerals update - are they yours?
- Rights of Light Consultation
- Squatters home in on commercial premises
- The Green Investment Bank
- The privileged profession
- Not in occupation, but clinging onto possession
- Please release me
- Green light for Fracking
- Mines and minerals update - are they yours?
- 'Darling, I'm leaving, you'd best pack your bags'
- Break Options - yet another failed attempt
- Town and Village Greens
First appeared in Informer: Real Estate Newsletter - Spring 2013
Where these claims succeed, landowners who thought they owned all of their land both above and below the surface may find that they do not. Clearly, owners of title and/or rights to mines and minerals are taking a very close look at any land where they can see the potential for income.
This is largely arising out of the changes to the "overriding interests" regime under the Land Registration Act 2002 which take effect later this year. In a number of instances, landowners are receiving claims from applicants wishing to register full title to mines and minerals below the surface of their land, despite there being no evidence of any separate ownership with the surface landowner's property deeds. The applicants are often making their claims on the basis of historic deeds entered into sometimes centuries earlier.
A recent example of this is where a Lord of the Manor (who bought the title 25 years earlier for £7,000) is wishing to exercise his rights to minerals lying beneath Filton Airfield near Bristol in order to test the site for shale gas reserves by the controversial method of fracking. The Airfield was recently sold by BAE Systems for redevelopment as housing. If the Lord of the Manor does take this further, this could delay development of the Airfield for some years. The owner of the mines and minerals may also assert that the developers carrying out works below the surface of the land at the site could technically amount to an actionable a trespass to his property. Arguably any such development works will require the express consent of the owner of the mines and minerals.
No doubt many more examples will come to the media's attention as time goes on.
For full details of the Filton story, click here
Maryam Collett, Associate, Energy and Infrastructure at Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP