My curiosity has been aroused by this item from the Cabinet Agenda for March 14th. The item is 'restricted' which means we, the public, are not allowed to know about something that seems to be costing us money.
From Cabinet Agenda:
From Cabinet Agenda:
Decision type: KeyTo consider proposals for the settlement of an adverse possession submitted by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Trustees Limited (The Oblates) in respect of the Marian Centre, Stafford Road, South Kilburn, NW6 5RS
Reason Key: Signficant expenditure/savings > 30% of budget for the function in question;
Decision status: For Determination
Wards affected: Kilburn;
Notice of proposed decision first published: 09/02/2016
Anticipated restriction: Fully exempt - View reasons
Decision due: 14 Mar 2016 by Cabinet
Lead member: Lead Member for Regeneration and Housing
Lead director: Strategic Director, Resources
Hm. If the Oblates have applied for an adverse possession order, that presumably means the Centre is freeheld by Brent, but that for some reason, there's grounds for it being literally given away to them. Usually, that's twelve years use without paying rent with no action by the local authority - remember that case in Lambeth, I think it was? The house that had been squatted and becamse the property of the squatters. This is also slap bang in the mmiddle of the South Kilburn "Regeneration". I'd surmise that Brent are paying them off so that the site can be redeveloped. Easier than fighting it through the courts. A little digging - Land Registry search for one, writs for another - ought to show more.
The law has changed and to claim adverse possession over titled land is incredibly difficult to be effectively impossible. Now if they are claiming adverse possession over a piece of unregistered land - say a road. That's another kettle of fish.
Thank you for bringing this intriguing agenda item to our attention, Martin.
"Adverse Possession" was not a concept that I had come across before, so I "googled" it. This is the definition given on the Property Law UK website:-
The owner of land can sometimes lose ownership to a trespasser by "adverse possession". The law is complicated:
Where the land is unregistered or where the land is registered but the trespasser notched up 12 years adverse possession before 13 October 2003, when the Land Registration Act 2002 came into force, one set of rules will apply.
On the other hand where the land is registered and the trespasser did not acquire 12 years adverse possession prior to that date the provisions of the 2002 Act, which are very different, will apply. Under that Act the trespasser must show 10 years adverse possession in order to apply for registration but there are then extra provisions to be taken into account.
However, whichever situation one is looking at, the concept of "adverse possession" is the same, whether under the "old law" or under the newer provisions of the 2002 Act.'
It appears that Brent Council must have allowed this charity, apparently a missionary group of Roman Catholic priests who serve the poor, to trespass on its land, and done nothing about it for at least ten years. Now that the charity have apparently claimed ownership of the land, it seems that Brent is having to buy it back.
But why can't they be open about it? This seems to be another example of Brent showing itself (like Rotherham) to have ‘a culture of covering up uncomfortable truths’.
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