North West Wales

Lord of the manor drops Anglesey land claims

Generic Manorial Rights letter
Image caption Householders had received letters saying Mr Hayes wanted to pursue his manorial land rights

Ancient rights which a lord of the manor issued to 4,000 homes on Anglesey have been removed after they prompted huge public concern.

Cheshire businessman Stephen Hayes, who holds the title of Lord of the Manor of Treffos on Anglesey, had tried to exert his manorial rights by issuing the notices to homeowners.

They would have given him various rights to their land, from hunting and sporting rights to mineral rights.

But he has now agreed to cancel them.

Manorial rights originated in the Middle Ages when land was divided between feudal lords such as the church or Crown and gave the holder rights over the land.

Lords of the manor had a deadline of October 2013 to register their claims or see them extinguished.

Mr Hayes wrote to 4,000 residents last year informing them that he had registered his rights as Lord of the Treffos manor.

His claim covered an area of 10,500 acres (4,250 hectares) from the villages of Llanddona to Llanfairpwll, including the town of Menai Bridge on the east of the island.

Image copyright Rhun ap Iorwerth
Image caption Hundreds of people attending a public meeting in Menai Bridge

The move was met with concern, with many people worried about the consequences of having rights registered on their property deeds.

Although the rights would have been difficult to exercise, many feared difficulties remortgaging or selling their homes.

Nearly 1,000 people turned up to a public meeting, with some saying they were worried about losing their homes.

At the time, Mr Hayes has told BBC Wales he had been wrongly advised to pursue his claim and believed the rights to be "worthless".

'Hugely frustrating'

Now, the island's AM Rhun ap Iorwerth has submitted a document to the Land Registry on behalf of Mr Hayes, cancelling the registration of the Treffos rights.

Mr ap Iorwerth said the process had been "long and hugely frustrating".

"Eventually - through liaising between Mr Hayes and the Land Registry - we found a way forward, culminating in the rights cancellation document being delivered to the Land Registry in Birkenhead," he said.

Land Registry officials confirmed to Mr ap Iorwerth that once the cancellation application has been processed they will write to each registered home owner"to advise them that the unilateral notice has been removed".

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