Bath and North East Somerset Council v HM Attorney General, The Treasury Solicitor (Bona Vacantia): ChD 31 Jul 2002

Land was conveyed to the Council’s predecessor on condition that it be left available for use for sports and similar recreations, and left as an open space. It was now sought to develop the land as a home for a football club. The Council sought determination of whether the trusts were charitable, or whether it held the land under the 1937 or 1976 Acts; if the words ‘upon trust’ could be read to be a mere reference to a statutory purpose.
Held: The fact that the trusts might fail as charitable trusts and that the council’s money would be spent in pursuing them did not mean, of themselves, that the trust created was a reference to the council’s statutory powers. The word ‘trusts’ can have wide uses, but in a conveyance, it has a technical meaning. The trusts were not restrictive as to who should benefit. The fact that members of various clubs might be the ones to take benefit did not prevent the trust being for the benefit of the public, though gifts for the promotion of sporting interests were not generally charitable. This particular trust was charitable. The Council could accept the land on charitable trusts.

The Honourable Mr Justice Hart
[2002] EWCA 1623 (Ch)
Physical Training and Recreation Act 1937 4, Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 19
England and Wales
CitedRichmond on Thames London Borough Council v Attorney-General 1982
. .
CitedLiverpool City Council v Attorney General 15-May-1992
Land had been given to the local authority ‘for use as a recreation ground and for no other purpose’ The Attorney-General sought to oblige the authority to maintain it as such.
Held: The form of gift was not charitable, and no obligation to . .
CitedTito v Waddell (No 2); Tito v Attorney General ChD 1977
Equity applies its doctrines to the substance, not the form, of transactions. In respect of the rule against self dealing for trustees ‘But of course equity looks beneath the surface, and applies its doctrines to cases where, although in form a . .
CitedDunne v Byrne PC 22-Feb-1912
Will – Construction – Charitable Bequest – Fund to be expended for the Good of
Religion – Religious Purposes.
Held, that a residuary bequest ‘to the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane and his successors to be used and expended wholly . .
CitedMonds v Stackhouse 1948
(High Court of Australia) A gift of money was made to the Corporation of a city to provide the nucleus of a fund to provide ‘a suitable hall or theatre for the holding of concerts to provide music for the citizens of the City and for the production . .
CitedRegina v Somerset County Council Ex Parte Fewings and Others CA 22-Mar-1995
The local authority had accepted the argument that stag hunting was cruel and had banned it from the land it owned in the Quantocks. The ban was challenged.
Held: The ban was unlawful. The decision had been reached on moral, and not on . .

Cited by:
CitedBath Rugby Ltd v Greenwood and Others CA 21-Dec-2021
This appeal concerns the question whether an area of land in Bath known as the Recreation Ground, commonly called ‘the Rec’, is still subject to a restrictive covenant imposed in a conveyance of the Rec dated 6 April 1922 (‘the 1922 conveyance’). . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Charity, Trusts

Updated: 22 December 2021; Ref: scu.174432