Milton Keynes Council v Wilsher [2022] EWHC 578 (QB)

Wed, 23 Mar 2022

Tim Jones has successfully defended an application for an injunction to obtain possession of land and successfully established adverse possession of that land in proceedings in the High Court before Eyre J. The case shows that historic use can still lead to a successful adverse possession claim. It also shows the risk of that issuing proceedings for an injunction can be counter-productive.

To succeed, the First Defendant, a Romany Gypsy, had to show 12 years adverse possession by himself and his late father before 13th October 2003 (when the Land Registration Act 2002 came into force). If he did, the Claimant as registered proprietor would hold the title to the Land on trust for the First Defendant. The First Defendant did so by calling a substantial number of witnesses and by relying on written evidence from others. The evidence included that of two vets, a local clergyman, businesspeople and friends. There was undisputed evidence that the First Defendant’s father had constructed a bridge over a brook on the land before the end of 1990 and largely unchallenged evidence that the First Defendant and his father had grazed horses and other animals on the land.

Eyre J, relying upon Food Convertors Ltd & another v Newell & another [2018] EWHC 926 (Ch), found for the counterclaiming First Defendant.

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