They're welcome to my 17 inches of land

PUBLISHED: 10:03 25 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:56 04 May 2010

I write in response to your article Subway may need land purchase order (Crow 19/03). It is certainly my understanding that a compulsory purchase order could be issued in the near future to acquire land needed for the rail underpass. However it is vit

I write in response to your article "Subway may need land purchase order" (Crow 19/03).

It is certainly my understanding that a compulsory purchase order could be issued in the near future to acquire land needed for the rail underpass.

However it is vitally important that this is put into perspective .The majority of the site required for the development is the existing track leading to the railway. Despite exhaustive searches by the Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) and their agents no details of the ownership of this area have so far been found, and so this would be the main target of any compulsory purchase order.

About 14 years ago some adjoining property owners (myself included) extended our back gardens so that our rear fences became much closer to this track. A scaled drawing recently provided to us by HCC agents clearly shows our existing fence line and the original property boundary line (shown on our title deeds).

The land identified between these lines (labelled encroached land on the council plan) is arguably the piece of ground that I and my neighbours acquired without permission, and along with the track could be the subject of a compulsory purchase order.

It should be noted that in my particular case this unlawful gain is effectively a band of land 42cm deep running along the entire width of my rear garden.

This fact of course has never been previously published (until now) and council representatives would rather suggest that I and my neighbours have taken something which was at least 5 times this size. After all why let the truth get in the way of a good story!

Referring once again to the plan provided by the HCC I think the simple facts are these:

1) The original fence line established in the early 1970s was never located on the actual property boundary line, but about two metres behind it and

2) when I and my neighbours moved our fences 14 years ago we were for the most part just reclaiming land that was ours anyway.

What I cannot understand is why there has not been any 1:1 consultation with adjoining landowners at the outset. If such an opportunity had been provided earlier along with the written evidence (ie the HCC provided plan) then this would then have helped dispel the myth that we are in dispute over complex land ownership issues which can only be dealt with by negotiation or failing that a compulsory purchase order.

This is simply not the case and in my view the council can have this 17 inches of land back, and is most welcome to it!

Nigel Seymour

Brooke Road Royston

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