Homeowner fears over mining letters

Derek Scholes One of many residents who have received a letter from Land Registry about Duke of Rutland's mining rights.
Derek Scholes One of many residents who have received a letter from Land Registry about Duke of Rutland's mining rights.
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Homeowners have been left confused, panicked and frightened after letters dropped through their doors telling them that the Duke of Rutland has ancient rights affecting their properties.

The letter states that the Duke has rights to minerals on the the land - effectively meaning that he could mine on the site where the property stands.

Derek Scholes, of Springfield Garden, is just one of many concerned residents who have contacted the Advertiser.

He said: “It’s very frightening to open a letter like this.

“Me and my wife were extremely unnerved when we read it through.

“We thought we could be faced with massive solicitors’ bills and maybe even without our home.

“The letters aren’t very clear and when you ring the Land Registry they are very vague.”

To allay concerned readers’ fears the Advertiser contacted the Duke of Rutland, David Manners.

A spokesman at his Belvoir Castle residence said: “I spoke with the Duke only yesterday about this matter and he assures me that he has no intention of going into mining, either now or in the future.

“The letters have been sent out by the Land Registry in line with new legislation relating to ancient rights of the Duke.

“Homeowners have no need to worry.”

But Richard Jones, managing director of Ilkeston Property Services, has said that this could cause problems for those buying or selling property in the near future.

He said: “The problem is that when a unilateral notice is associated with a property it could raise concerns with mortgage providers and solicitors at the conveyancy stage.

“This could well lead to lenders being reluctant to offer mortgages and sales falling through.”

A Land Registry spokesman explained: “The new law relating to this was passed ten years ago and the deadline is on Sunday October 13.

“Hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country will receive letters before then as Lords and Dukes apply to retain their rights.”

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