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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Fears Swarthmoor mining rights issue will see house prices slide

FEARS are growing among residents of a Furness community that the ownership of mineral rights beneath their homes could affect property values.

Residents in Swarthmoor were shocked to receive letters two weeks ago informing them that Muncaster Estates owned mining and mineral rights beneath the village.

Now one resident has received a letter from a mortgage lender requesting his property is revalued in light of the new information, a leading South Lakeland District Councillor has claimed.

Swarthmoor representative Janet Willis said people were distressed about the situation.

“I can totally understand why people are upset about this,” she said.

“Not only will it cost people to seek legal advice at a very expensive time of year, but the worry that many will suffer over Christmas is wrong.

“And at least one resident has been informed by his mortgage provider that the ownership of mineral rights could affect the value of his home.

“People are worried.”

The letter was sent to residents by legal firm Bond Dickinson on behalf of Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington at Muncaster Castle. The estate has owned the ancient manorial rights since 1820.

It follows a change in government legislation in October 2002 which requires landowners to register their historic mining and mineral rights with the Land Registry or risk losing them.

But this week the Pennington family sought to reassure residents – stating the estate had no intention of beginning a mining operation beneath the village.

Spokesman Peter Frost-Pennington said: “I’d like to reassure people that we have no intention to start up mining operations anywhere. Muncaster has owned these mineral rights for hundreds of years.

“However, a change in the law in 2002 meant that we were required to record these rights with the Land Registry, which keeps central records of English properties by October 31.”

Have your say

We have been working on a website to help obtain the 100,000 signatures required to get parliament to discuss manorial rights. The website is expected to become a focal point for a national campaign and is hoped to help to reach out and open communications with other areas affected by claims to manorial rights.

We are of a viewpoint that if 80,000 notices have been sent out by the Land Registry, then getting the 100,000 signatures on the e-petition to the government (not yet created) should not be out of the question. If people ask their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, friends and people in the workplace, enough support should be obtainable. We therefore suggest not only signing up on the website to follow the campaign as it progresses, but to share the website with people you know. So, please, take a look - feel free to make suggestions - and support the campaign.


Posted by Manorial Rights on 10 January 2014 at 20:34

I have only been a Swarthmoor resident for 6 months and I was suprised when I received my letter last week informing me of the situation regarding the mineral rights underneath the village, as nothing cropped up during the searches etc when I was buying my property.
As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing to worry about and I can't see why it should affect house prices (mortgage lenders way of bleeding more cash from us perhaps?), the Pennington family owned these rights anyway and are just re-registering their interest so not to lose them,( and probably not to start mining themselves but to make sure we can't!) I for one am not going to waste money seeking legal advice, but anyone who wishes to calm their fears could always seek advice through one of the many "free" surgeries run by the solicitors in Barrow and Ulverston to save on unnecessary outlay. If things change in the future I'm sure all the residents could band together to show the Penningtons how unhappy we are.
Anyway, if they do have no intention of using their right to mine, why not let it lapse as an act of good will?.

Posted by john on 30 December 2013 at 02:17

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