Many householders in Wigton have received letters from the Land Registry regarding an application to register mining and mineral rights by the Right Honourable John Max Henry Scawen, 2nd Baron Egremont and 7th Baron Leconfield. The properties which have received these letters will be located in lands which historically belonged to the Manor of Wigton. When land was sold off by Lords of the Manor, the Estate reserved the right of mines and minerals which were not passed to those buying the land.
These are not therefore new rights which someone is trying to claim. They have always existed but have not been registered with the Land Registry to date. The Estate Office will be registering the rights now so that they are documented with the Land Registry and not lost on future sales.
Instead of registering the right only against open spaces where mining may be possible in the future, there has been a blanket application to register rights against all lands previously owned by the Lord of the Manor. Unfortunately this includes many residential and business properties in the Wigton area. We understand that the Land Registry has sent out around 2,000 letters to householders.
The Leconfield Estates have indicated that they have no intention of carrying out any extraction at the present time but rather that the registration exercise is simply to protect Lord Egremont’s assets by way of registration. Of course, if they did want to undertake any extraction in the future they would not only require your consent but planning permission and also environmental factors would need to be taken into consideration. You as owners of the property would also be entitled to compensation.
If you have no objection to the registration of the mines and minerals, you can return the consent form which was enclosed with the letter received from the Land Registry. If the Land Registry do not receive your consent by the deadline stated in the letter then they will complete the registration of the mines and minerals in any event.
If you wish to object to the registration, then you would need to set out valid legal grounds for your objection, i.e. that you would either need to prove that the applicant did not have the rights to the mines or minerals or that you had purchased these from the estate.