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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8444
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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On the 1922 county maps a disputed piece of my land, being a

Customer Question

On the 1922 county maps a disputed piece of my land, being a small brook was included in our ownership.
further maps after this date show riperian rights although the boundaries of the properties claiming this end at
the bottom of their gardens on one side of the brook, how can we find if we are still owners and how is it possible to
be altered
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

Does it appear that ownership of half of the book on your side was excluded from the first registration at the Land Registry?

Is the landowner on the opposite side of the brook shown as owning all the brook?

If not, who is the registered owner of the brook?

Have you got any title deed to the brook and do you know if it’s registered or not registered?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hello again, the brook is unregistered and we sent a statement of truth to claim adverse possesion. as i say it was registered as our brook in 1922 but not on any maps after that. the land registry have indicated" that although the red line on the maps does not indicate the extent of ownership, it may be that the adjoining parts of the ditch or stream are already registered to us .
"It may assist you and the Council to know that the ditch and stream were braced with the adjoining field of the applicant on the 1922 County Series map but the ditch and stream are braced half and half to each bank on later editions of the map."
There are 16 familes who flood in the area, and the new government funded flood alleviation scheme was due to go ahead in july, but the legal team at the council picked up that one small stretch of the stream was not in our ownership, hence our application. unfortunately one person along with his wife submitted an objection, he made a statement of truth refuting our claim. All affected families are totally against his claims and are giving us their backing, they know that we have maintained and looked after it for 21 years as we thought that it was in our ownership. i explained this in my previous posts to you.
We now find ourselves in the position of possibly losing the flood alleviation scheme unless we can come up with a solution.
The whole of the parish council, district council etc are involved, but time is of the essence. there must be something that we can do. There are many issues on the objectors statement of truth that are arguable, this is supported by the 6 households who live near to him
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the objector claims his rights as a riperian owner
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the small stretch of the stream is unregistered
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the rest of the stream some two to three hundred metres is in our possesion
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

Thank you.

On what basis does the objector claim he has these rights over this piece of stream? Does he live adjacent to it?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
sorry i have just got back in. yes his property backs onto the stream, although according to the land registry, all properties including his have their boundaries at the bottom of their gardens. there is an old ancient wall on most of them, same level as the stream bank
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.
Thank you.The default situation as you will probably be aware, is that you own up to the centre of the water. Was your adverse possession claim in respect of the whole brook there only to the centre line?It may be that he would withdraw his objection if you agreed to only make your application as far as the centre line. However based on the 1922 deed, you are entitled to be registered as the owner of the stream in any event which, for some reason didn’t happen when the property was first registered. With an application for adverse possession, as soon as the land registry get an objection, it just gets referred to the Land Tribunal.To my mind this is a matter for first registration of the area of the stream rather than a matter of adverse possession.

What also assists you is the fact that the rest of the stream is registered to you which would imply that this part should be also.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
the problem, i dont know if it was a deed in 1922 , all i know is what the land registry told me that it shows on the county series maps of 1922 as belonging to us, so it seems a pretty grey area
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

If you don’t have sufficient proof to satisfy the land registry for registration, then it is the application for adverse possession. It’s still a land tribunal job.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8444
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
would all the people, namely 7 familes together with myself be able to sue the objector under the "tort law of nuisance" if the flood alleviation scheme fails to go ahead because of his objection and we all have our properties flooded again
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

It is an interesting point.

You could certainly threaten the proceedings but I’m not convinced they would succeed in court. It would depend whether the neighbour had done this simply to be a pain in all your sides whether he has a genuine reason for objecting.

There is a legal test with regard to any intervention like this called the “but for” test. For something happening but for someone doing for someone not doing something, XYZ would not have happened. You could argue that but for his objection you would not have been flooded because the flood alleviation scheme would have gone ahead.

You can tell him in your legal threat that if the properties are flooded as a result of the scheme failing to go ahead because of his objection, you would be suing him for the cost of the remediation. That kind of lawsuit would probably lead to his bankruptcy if it went ahead assuming of course that he could fund it in the interim.

Unless he is a multimillionaire, seven against one are not good financial odds even if the claim is not a particularly good claim.

You could do that now and say exactly that. If there are 7 families involved, the legal costs divided by seven is going to be far more attractive the legal costs paid by one! However any family that doesn’t join in any potential litigation is still going to get the benefit of any positive outcome without having the burden of a negative outcome.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
thats really useful to know, thanks, ***** ***** know why he is objecting. We own another 3 acres of land facing his property. When my son found out that he had objected, he went to see him to try to persuade him to sign agreement to the flood alleviation works.
My son secretly taped the conversation (it is not illegal to do this, but it is illegal to pass it on to a third party "unless it is in the interests of the public" which in this case most certainly is. He does not know that we have this tape, but on it he clearly states that if my husband sells him the land then he will sign. and admits to blackmailing us. I have informed my solicitor of this tape but at this stage would like to find an alternative answer as he is the kind of person who would take us to court over it. it all gets murkier and murkier, he says that he doesnt care about the neighbours and he doesnt care if they flood, he said "I can row my own boat" frankly he doesnt deserve to live in a community. He is known to the local councils as a bit of a problem. he buys and sells land
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

He is probably jealous!

I think you probably have enough with that tape to go to the police.

I think you certainly have enough to win at the land tribunal.

I wouldn’t be that bothered about being taken to court over it because recording someone’s voice is not actually illegal. After all, what’s he going to do? Get an injunction to stop you doing it again? He hasn’t suffered any loss as a result and English law is not punitive.

I think any judge would have very little sympathy for him particularly in view of the content.

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