Update on Public Inquiry to hear MOD's attempt to deregister Hilton, Murton, Burton and Warcop Fells

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Our Chairman, Secretary and a committee member attended the first day of  the Public Inquiry on the 13th  September in Kendal. The MoD fielded an impressive legal team. The Open Spaces Society (OSS), as objectors instructed a QC.

The Inquiry is focussing on two key issues. Firstly the legal ‘power’ issue. Does the legislation give the MoD the power to make this application given the nature of the vesting deed which was to extinguish rights (not purchase the soil). If yes, then the second issue "the Waste of the Manor" is relevant. Essentially, for land to be deregistered it must both have no rights of common and no longer be waste of the manor.

Clearly the land has no rights of common as they were bought up by MoD, but was it waste of the manor at the date of the vesting deed? Land must be, open, uncultivated and unoccupied to be waste of the manor. The question under examination is: does land grazed under license and used for military purposes constitute ‘occupation’?

The Inquiry will reconvene on the 30th October to consider the Waste of the Manor Issue. The Inspector will then make his recommendation to Cumbria County Council, who need to make a decision before 14th December 2018  when the four year "transitional period" for updating the registers ends.

The Inquiry has had significant press coverage . The BBC has also covered it on TV and Radio. The Army is apparently displeased with the coverage. Here are some links:
The Times
The Observer
The Daily Telegraph
The Guardian
The Financial Times