Wales politics

Lord Treffos wants to sell ancient Anglesey manor title

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Media captionSo-called lords of the manor now have to register manorial rights on land which they own

The man at the centre of a row over manorial rights on Anglesey says he wishes he had never bought the title.

Thousands of people have received letters from the Land Registry on behalf of Stephen Hayes claiming that he has rights on their properties.

He bought the Lord Treffos title in 1992 and says he has spent over £35,000 on the matter and is looking for a buyer.

Mr Hayes, a Cheshire businessman, said Welsh ministers should buy the title.

The twin communities of Llanfairpwll and Menai Bridge fall in the Manor of Treffos.

"I had actually forgotten all about the title until the Land Registry told me I had to register my rights before the end of October," Mr Hayes said.

"None of this is my doing. I've received continuous abuse and I've had my life threatened."

On Wednesday, Ynys Mon Labour MP Albert Owen led a Westminster Hall debate on the ancient claims to rights such as minerals, fishing, hunting or holding markets on other people's land.

He said concerns over the rights were causing anxiety and distress to "4,000 premises" in Anglesey.

Mr Owen said property owners should be protected rather than "absurd ancient property rights".

UK Business Minister Michael Fallon said a requirement that such rights should be registered would achieve a better balance between all parties involved in the long term.

'Largely symbolic'

Plaid Ynys Mon AM Rhun ap Iorwerth is meeting Land Registry officials to discuss the manorial rights issue next week.

"They typically relate to mineral rights under a piece of land that you might own, or hunting rights, even though you may live in a terraced house," he said.

"So they're very difficult to put into practice, they're very difficult rights to actually exercise but, even though they're largely symbolic, they have proved to be very, very distressing in practice.

"We've had people paying out of their own pockets, maybe £100 at a time for legal advice, asking what we should be doing know.

"People have found it difficult in some cases, we know, to get mortgages or to re-mortgage their homes because lenders aren't sure what these rights are.

"The only answer, moving forward now, is to get rid of these outdated rights that certainly don't belong in the 21st Century," he added.