BMEWS
 
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calendar   Saturday - January 24, 2009

Hadn’t planned on anything today until I ran across this.  Water Company claims Squatters Rights.

I think it’s an outrage.  Legal theft? That’s what this story reads like.
Or else I read it incorrectly.


Farmer outraged after water company claims squatters rights on property she allowed them to access

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 3:43 PM on 23rd January 2009

A farmer has been left devastated after a water company claimed squatters’ rights on land that has been in her family for generations.

Ruth Wrixton had allowed Wessex Water officials onto her farm for years so workers could access a pumping station there.

But Miss Wrixton was dumbstruck after discovering the multi-million pound firm claimed ownership of her property on the grounds that it has ‘enjoyed free, uninterrupted and undisturbed possession for 12 years.’

Miss Wrixton, whose family have owned the farm for 100 years, received a letter from the Land Registry explaining the change of ownership while she was battling cancer.

The firm also offered her a deal to buy her own land back in exchange for a free 99 year lease.

Miss Wrixton, 50, said she was outraged over the matter and couldn’t believe she has lost her land.

She said: ‘I can’t put into words how I feel, I am so angry and upset by this.

‘My family has owned the little farm for 100 years and we have been bound by law to allow Wessex Water onto our land because their are a public utility.


‘But how dare they turn round and claim this land is now theirs.
Who do they think they are?’

The saga began more than 50 years ago when the local council had to build the small pumping station in the village of Symondsbury, Dorset.

The farmyard at Miles Cross Farm was deemed the lowest point in the area and the 12ft by 10ft sewage station was placed there.

The station passed into the hands of Wessex Water when it was privatised in 1974.

Miss Wrixton’s grandfather, Fred Barnes who bequeathed the farm to her, was obliged to allow the firm’s employees onto his land.

That agreement continued after she took over the 70 acre beef farm.

She said: ‘I had no choice - if I tried to stop them I would have been arrested. By law they can come on my land because they are a utility .

‘I couldn’t win either way. Let them in, and after 12 years they take the land, or I stop them entering and be arrested.’

Miss Wrixton only learnt that Wessex Water had registered the small plot of land the station is on in its name after she divorced and notified the Land Registry that she was now the farm’s sole owner.

Although she wrote an objection, a second letter from the Land Registry stated:
‘Unfortunately your objection is not sufficient to prevent the completion of the application.

‘I have no doubt that Wessex Water has been in full free, uninterrupted and undisturbed possession for at least 12 years of the claimed land.’

Miss Wrixton approached her local MP, Conservative Oliver Letwin, who wrote to Colin Skellett, the chairman of Wessex Water.

She said: ‘Mr Skellett replied and stated they would transfer the land back to me for one pound - so I buy my land back and in return I let them have a 99 year lease back at one pound. Meaning that I let them have the land for 99 years free of charge.

‘I wouldn’t care if the land was in the middle of nowhere but it is in the farmyard and I have to keep the route clear for them.’

A spokesman for Wessex Water confirmed they believed they owned the title of the land.

He said: ‘Although no deeds exist, which is not uncommon, Wessex Water has rights to access and maintain the site in accordance with our statutory duty to provide sewerage services to local residents.

‘A recent application to HM Land Registry to register our possessory title in the site has met with objection from the claimant.

‘In response we offered to take a 99-year lease of the site at a peppercorn rent but the claimant sought more commercial terms.

‘We are still prepared to transfer the small piece of land back to the claimant and take the lease as previously proposed.

‘We are disappointed not to have received a reply from the claimant.’


avatar

Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/24/2009 at 12:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Jack Booted ThugsOutrageousUK •  
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