Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Council refuses £10,000 offer to sell land

A MAN who offered £10,000 to Henley Town Council for a piece of its land that is now part of his garden has been turned down

A MAN who offered £10,000 to Henley Town Council for a piece of its land that is now part of his garden has been turned down.

The council says it doesn?t want to set a precedent in cases where residents have taken over bits of its land to increase the size of their gardens.

The issue was raised by Fred Dean, who lives in Valley Road, after he discovered his back garden fence encroached about 8ft on to the council?s land.

He told a meeting of the council?s finance strategy and management committee that when he moved into his property in June last year he was unaware of any boundary issues.

He said nothing had been declared in the sale particulars by the previous owner of the house. However, he then discovered the encroachment, which he believed had happened when the fence was moved in 2013, and wanted to resolve the issue.

Speaking at a council meeting last month, he said: ?We believe we are a special case as we have inherited this situation and we don?t believe a precedent is being set in our case.

?We live on a limited budget but are willing to pay for the land that has been encroached upon and we can currently afford £10,000 to buy the land and we ask that you accept this offer.? The council rejected the offer and plans to employ a surveyor to determine the exact boundary line along the length of a footpath to Tilebarn Close to see how many properties are affected.

Minutes of a confidential session of the finance strategy and management committee show that town clerk Mike Kennedy made contact with Mr Dean who had estimated the area of encroachment amounted to about 20 square metres and the value of the land at between £5,000 and £10,000.

The minutes say: ?This item produced much debate as the council did not wish to set a precedent and encourage others around the town to extend their gardens with the expectation that the land would eventually become part of their demise. It was stated that it was not council policy to sell off land in these circumstances.

?A number of councillors had received complaints from neighbours about the encroachment.

?It also appeared that there were other houses along Valley Road whose boundaries had been extended.

?As the exact boundary line ?on the ground? was indistinct in places, it was agreed that the whole footpath boundary should be surveyed.?

Householders will be advised if their boundary has encroached on to council land and that the land will not be sold or leased to them.

Mr Dean did not respond to requests for comment.

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