Plots of land in some of Crowborough’s established estates will go under the hammer next month.
Much of the land comprises publicly maintained highways, pavements, alleys and verges. However it is said in the particulars that some of the parcels of land might be useful in providing access to future developments, land for the erection of telecoms masts, or garden extensions. The guide prices ranges from £500 to £1,500.
There are several verges that have potential to site telecoms aerials, provide garden extensions and create parking bays, land to the north of Medway has future development potential and Medway could provide access.
East Sussex County Council wants to make it clear it is not the owner of the land. In the majority of cases the public have already recorded rights over the land in question, and if access was ever denied, the County Council has said it has powers to carry out enforcement to get a route reopened.
The land includes:
- Croft Road and Saxonbury Close (Lot 8).
- Medway and Rochester Way (Lot 9).
- Shepherds Walk, Medway, Hill Rise, Shawfield and Nassau Drive (Lot 11).
- Herne Down, Woodland Way, Fermor Way, St Richards Road, Fermor Road and Luxford Road (Lot 40).
Paul Heather of Charles Darrow Network Auctions explained how the sale has come about:
We’ve sold over one hundred of these over the past 18 months on behalf of Davis Estates. The sale has come about a through family inheritance. A family development company called Davis Estates, who was a major UK housebuilder dating back to the 1940s.
They built developments all around the country and what we have been selling are remnants of these developments made up of roads, the pavements, the verges, similar to the Crowborough plots. What we have are mostly from the 60s, 70s and 80s.
A senior family member passed away and their children inherited this land, much of which they didn’t even know they had it and they had to do a lot of digging to discover what they had.
One of the alleyways runs from St Richards Road through to Luxford Road.
An East Sussex County Council spokesperson said:
The alleyways included in the lots for sale are not included on the Rights of Way map as they are adopted highway and are recorded on the Highway Terrier, an official record which records all highways maintainable at public expense.
East Sussex County Council does not own the land under the highway. There is nothing to stop the owner of the subsoil selling the land, and Adopted Highway often runs over land that is registered to a private owner. However, the public highway rights effectively overrule that private ownership.
If the alleyways were obstructed, East Sussex Highways could take enforcement action.
Paul Heather of Charles Darrow said:
The auction lots are sold as seen, although prospective buyers should make their own enquiries with the local council and highways authority in order to ascertain what they may or may not be able to do with them. They have proved very popular with buyers, but understandably local residents living in the vicinity of the Lots have had their concerns.
People believe that we are selling their roads and pavements, but in the vast majority of cases these have been adopted by the local authority under the Highways Act which means the road surfaces belong to the local authority and cannot be interfered with. what we are selling is the subsoil beneath them.
The Lots that attract the most attention are those that have development potential, where there are green spaces that may lend themselves to garden extensions or individual building plots, subject to planning permission of course.
Most of the enquiries we have received have been from concerned local residents, and in most cases we have put their minds at rest.
The auction is on 10th December. More detail can be found on the Charles Darrow website. Please note Lot 9 is wrongly categorised by the HM Land Registry in the title. It states ‘land lying to the North of Station Road’, but the land in question is actually on Medway and Rochester Way.)