Duchy registers historic land rights

The Duchy of Lancaster is in the process of registering its historic manorial mineral ownership following a change to the law governing land registration.

The Land Registration Act of 2002 set a deadline of October 2013 for the owners of centuries-old rights to minerals beneath the ground to register them officially.

The change in legislation has prompted The Duchy of Lancaster, a portfolio of land, property and assets held by Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Her Duchy of Lancaster, to register these historic rights to underground minerals with the Land Registry.

The Duchy is currently working on registering the manorial minerals in the Stoke-on-Trent area. CEO and Clerk of the Duchy Council, Nathan Thompson, today reassured owners with properties on the affected land, explaining that registration was a formality.

He said: “The Duchy of Lancaster has owned these manorial mineral rights for many centuries and is having to register these rights with the Land Registry in order to preserve them for the future because of the change in legislation.’’

Home owners whose property is already registered at the Land Registry will receive postal notification of the registration from the Land Registry. Mr Thompson went on to say that anyone who believes they may be affected and is worried should contact the Duchy at: minerals.registration@duchyoflancaster.co.uk.

He said: “We understand that some homeowners may be concerned at having our mineral ownership shown on their title however, the possible sale and transfer of the Duchy mineral rights to them would not be ruled out in certain circumstances.”