Further Statement from Brightlingsea Town Council regarding claim for adverse possession of land at Minter’s Point by Gary Humm. 9th September 2021.
The Town Council issued a statement on 3rd August regarding Mr Humm’s claim to ownership of a piece of land known as Minter’s Point, attached to Cyndry Island. The council clarified that it was responding to an application made by Mr Humm. The council have not initiated these proceedings and have had no choice other than to respond to the application. In responding, because of the complexity of the law involved, the council has had to follow good governance guidelines and engage a solicitor. The council position was clear then and is clear now – we want to resolve this matter without recourse to further litigation.
The council solicitors received a letter from HM Land Registry dated 25th August which stated:
Thank you for replying to my earlier letter. While I note that your client (the council) wants to negotiate, the other party (Mr Humm) does not.
In the absence of all parties indicating that they are willing to negotiate we must refer this matter to the Land Registration division of the Property Chamber, First-tier Tribunal (the Tribunal) pursuant to section 73(7) of the Land Registration Act 2002.
I enclose a copy of the case summary in draft. The case summary…..will be sent to the Tribunal when the reference is made. It will enable them to decide whether they wish to hold a hearing to determine the matter, or refer the case into court…..’
From this letter it is clear that by refusing to negotiate Mr Humm has escalated the process to a tribunal – NOT the council. The council has had meetings and conversations with Mr Humm and spent extraordinary amounts of staff time responding to e-mails and requests for information in an effort to resolve this matter.
The land being claimed by Mr Humm is a protected SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and there are issues about protection and allowed use. Natural England have advised that if there were to be damage caused by unauthorised occupation of the area then the council could be liable for a fine of up to £20,000.
It is still the council’s position that we wish to support Mr Humm’s business but it must be conducted with required permissions and the approval of relevant authorities in the same way as any other business.
On social media he has initiated a poll of residents based on the assertion that the Town Council is conducting a ‘vendetta’ against him and wasting public money. It is hoped the information outlined above is sufficient to deal with these allegations and allow residents to make an informed decision on the actions of the council.