Playing Field convenant

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Sadgardener2
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Playing Field convenant

Post by Sadgardener2 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:46 am

Hi
We are trying to save a football field.
It is mainly owned by a charity whose Rules etc we have got from the Charity Commission.
The land was convenanted in 1930 to be used for the children of the city for all time,
The rules of the Trustees state that should the charity cease to exist then the land must be given to the council for children's sports and must never be built on.
Moving forward to 2005. The land was re registered at Land Registry and from the downloadable info, it seems the convenant was not included in the new registration. Just the value! And also various legalities re street and pavements that come from the original sale of the land in around 1920 was is was due to be developed.
The charity want to sell the land to the council for a lot and then use the money to build changing rooms etc in other places mainly in schools.
Local children's footie and rugby clubs have been asking for the use of the playing field for the last 17 years but are told to come back when they have 2 million pounds!
It is legal to fail to enter existing convenants on registration deeds. Might there be something on an official copy that is not on the downloadable info?

Collaborate
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Re: Playing Field convenant

Post by Collaborate » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:53 am

Does the LR title note the existence of covenants or refer to the '30s deed in any way?

Sadgardener2
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Re: Playing Field convenant

Post by Sadgardener2 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:15 pm

The Registration that was made in 2005 by National Westminster Bank for purpose of valuation - this Registration refers to convenants in previous sales of the land around 1920 when it was offered for sale for housing. These are about drains and roadways.

Sadgardener2
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Re: Playing Field convenant

Post by Sadgardener2 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:14 am

Re read the documents - I have photos of the Register Entries. It is hard to fathom it all out.
The main part of the playing field was bought by public subscription and was vested in Trustees, one of whom is the National Westminster Bank. The conduct of these Trustees - the "Rules" of the charity - are such that should they cease to exist as a charity - then the playing field should be given to the Council and held as playing field for all time etc.
A small part of the playing field was in fact owned by the council and they gave the Trustees of the Charity a Lease for 100 years - from 1930.
The charity - any charity with assets like land - had to go to the Charity Commission and ask for a legal Scheme - this goes before the High Court for permission - this will allow them to sell off their assets if they are going to use the moneys for similar purpose ie to buy other playing fields.
In this case a SCHEME has been sought and granted.
It gets awful complicated after this.
The charity set up another charity, one which had the Chief Finance Officer of the Council as the sole Trustee and thereby gave to the council another playing field - this is leased to another charity - one that is associated with a major well known sports club. Which is owned by a property developer. Etc.
This other playing field was substantially improved by the property developer to the tune of half a million. Floodlights etc. No rent has been paid by the lessor and none charged by the council. No accounts have been lodged with the Charity Commission. Etc.
It is so complicated.

Collaborate
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Re: Playing Field convenant

Post by Collaborate » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:18 am

Sadgardener2 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:14 am

It is so complicated.
And therefore likely to be extremely expensive to pay a professional to advise you on this.

ukmicky
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Re: Playing Field convenant

Post by ukmicky » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:53 pm

Firstly forcing someone to hand over land via a covenant would probably not be enforceable. The use would be enforceable but even a restriction on use can be removed under the right circumstances.

It may not have been registered correctly as a land charge and therefore would not be on the register of title as it wouldnt bind future owners.

If it was registered correctly it’s possible the owners of the land had the Covenant removed by the lands tribunal under the grounds.
the restrictive covenant impedes some reasonable user of the land for public or private purposes and EITHER (a) it does not secure to persons entitled to the benefit of it any practical benefits or substantial value or advantage to them (the first limb) OR (b) is contrary to the public interest.
Even a good covenant that has been registered correctly and seems to be water tight can be removed by the lands tribunal if Adequate compensation can be paid out.

The thing is land is a resource that these days is becoming hard to find and if a good enough case can be shown that a better use of the land has been found an owner of land burdened by a covenant can apply to have it removed or changed.

The land registry should have details if it wasn’t registered as a land charge or the lands tribunal removed or altered it.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

mr sheen
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Re: Playing Field convenant

Post by mr sheen » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:33 am

Trustees of a charity are entrusted to achieve the objectives of the charity and this would include maximising income and funds that can be used for the beneficiaries of the actions of the charity and their charitable activities. Since the nat West are Trustees they have a legal department that can advise them about the legal issues around this matter and how to maximise the benefit to their charitable activities that this charity is tasked with.

If you wish to legally challenge the actions of the trustees of this charity, then you will need some hefty legal support which will be very costly and, as has been commented here, this matter is very complex and the covenant may or may not be enforceable and the Nat West is a Goliath of an opponent in terms of legal action and since they are trustees they are bound by charity 'rules' which it is unlikley that they would breach since they personally have nothing to gain.

Representing your views to the Trustess with a view to trying to get them to honour the 'spirit' of the covenant may be a first step...this could include ananlysis of impact on the community with cost/benefit analyses in relation to the aims of the charity that owns the land. You may or may not get anywhere.

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