- The Duchy of Cornwall estate sent letters to Stoke Climsland residents
- Prince’s estate has laid claims to metals and minerals underground
- The estate wants homeowners to alter their property deeds to reflect rite
- Officials deny intent to start boring beneath residents’ homes
13:22 EST, 20 November 2013
16:34 EST, 20 November 2013
Anger: Residents of a Cornish village have branded Prince Charles a ‘bully’ after he sent them letters invoking an ancient rite to land beneath their homes
Prince Charles has been branded a ‘bully’ by residents of Cornish village after he wrote to them invoking an ancient right – to mine under their homes.
The Prince of Wales’s Duchy of Cornwall estate sent letters to residents of Stoke Climsland to inform them that he owns the land beneath their properties.
The Duchy wants the property owners to alter
their deeds to reflect his right to the metals and
elements buried beneath their floors.
The letter has sparked fears that the claim could indicate plans for fracking or mining in the area, but the estate has denied it has such an intent.
Homeowners in the area, which has a population of just 1,600, say that their deeds make no mention of the Prince’s estate owning the land, but the Duchy says that a 19th century Act of Parliament granted it the mines.
Residents have until December 3 to contest the claim – an action that could land homeowners with legal bills running into thousands of pounds.
Former policeman Clive Donner, 60, said: ‘When we purchased the property I examined the deeds.
‘Nowhere does it mention that Prince Charles has the mining and mineral rights in or under our homes.
also have deeds from as far back as 1847 for our property and again it
does not mention anywhere anything about rights of the Duchy.
‘They say they are not planning any mining but just following the law.
Claim: The village of Stoke Climsland, pictured, which is home to just 1,600 residents
Row: Homeowners say that their deeds make no mention of the Prince’s estate owning the land, but the Duchy says that a 19th century Act of Parliament granted it the mines
this was the case why not just let the whole mining minerals
application dissolve into history, or at the very least state that the
Duchy has no intention now or in the future to conduct any mining in or
under any homeowners’ property.
He added: ‘The
document states that if we do not reply it will take this as meaning we
agree to the Duchy’s request and application.
‘Employing a legal adviser
would cost a small fortune and is out of reach for all of us.
is nothing more than bully tactics and has been done to ensure that the
Duchy gets what it wants and that we, the actual owners, and the people
who live here have no chance to challenge the application.’
Cornwall sits on top on vast beds of metals and minerals and moves are underway to revive its famous tin mining industry.
No intent: Officials deny the move signals any intent to start boring into the ground beneath the village’s historic buildings – which date back as far as the 16th century
Duchy spokesmen deny the move signals any intent to start boring into the ground beneath the village’s historic buildings – which date back as far as the 16th century.
During the last few years experts discovered large deposits of an ultra-rare element – indium – at Cornwall’s South Crofty, near Redruth, worth an estimated £200 million.
The sought-after substance is used to make liquid crystal displays displays for iPads, satnavs and computer monitors.
But the Duchy insists it has effectively owned the sub-soil beneath the 130,000-acre estate since its creation in 1337 and is ‘simply registering its existing rights.’
My land: Lord Salisbury recently angered residents in Welwyn Garden City with a similar claim
A spokesman said mining and mineral rights were not included on the original Stoke Climsland deeds because a 19th-century act of parliament granted the mines and minerals reservations separately to the Duchy.
He added: ‘Therefore the mines and minerals reservations do not have to be included in each individual sale.’
The villagers’ outrage comes after the Marquess of Salisbury angered residents of Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire earlier this month, after asserting his rights to his neighbours’ land so he can dig for minerals under their homes.
Campaigners rallied together to form a Facebook protest group after the former Tory Part leader in the House of Lords claimed his ‘market and fair rights, sporting rights and rights in respect of the mines and minerals beneath the property’.
Some residents feared that his claims may indicate plans for fracking in the area.
Some suggested picketing the marquess’ ancestral home, Hatfield House, wearing medieval costumes and ‘waving pitchforks and burning torches’.
His decision to register follows a law introduced by the Labour government in 2002 that stated all manorial rights would be lost if not registered with the Land Registry within an 11-year window.
Now a number of landowners across the country are applying for manorial rights before that window closes this year.