Fraser and Another v Canterbury Diocesan Board of Finance and Another: Chd 14 May 2003

The claimants sought to assert that land acquired under the 1841 Act reverted to them on its ceasing to be used for the purposes of a school. Lewison J summarised the evidence: ‘An analysis of the school registers for 1931 to 1947 shows that the children came from a variety of housing stock. Some came from what were, historically, middle-class streets of owner-occupied houses. Mr Harris lived in one such street, and his father, who worked for the local electricity board, owned his own house. An examination of the Maidstone rate-books for this period shows that some of the children lived in houses with high rateable values. I was shown photographs of some of these houses which were plainly comfortable and relatively spacious houses. However, further analysis by Mr Neil Fraser demonstrated that many of the higher rated houses appeared to have been in multiple occupation and others of them may well have been highly rated because the hereditament also included a shop. In the case of those children who lived in hereditaments including a shop, they may have been the children of ‘tradesmen’, who were specifically mentioned in the 1851 Act, but not in the conveyance.
Mr Harris said in his evidence that the former parish of St Philip contains a variety of housing including premises which belonged to the local authority and premises in and around Stone Street, Maidstone which would certainly have been occupied by the poorer classes. He, however, lived in a ‘better class area’, as did a friend of his, who also attended St Philip’s and was the son of a police inspector. He concluded that, having looked at the register, there were clearly a mixed variety of pupils being admitted to the school, some from very obviously poor backgrounds but some clearly from a more wealthy area.’ The defendants argued that the trustees of the school had used the land for purposes outside the terms of the original trusts, and that they acquired a title outside the Act, which title was the one acquired by them.
Held: ‘If land is conveyed to be held on trust for purpose A and for no other purpose, and the trustees use the land for purpose A and also for purpose B, it seems to me that they are using it for two purposes, one of which is permitted by the trust and the other of which is not. What they have not done is to cease to use the land for purpose A merely because they are also using it for purpose B.’
The Honourable Mr Justice Lewison
[2003] EWHC 1075 (Ch)
School Sites Act 1841
England and Wales
See AlsoFraser and Another v Canterbury Diocesan Board Of Finance (No 1) CA 24-Nov-2000
A grant of land was made under the 1841 Act in 1872 (after the 1870 Act) and the school had in 1874 been transferred to a school board under section 23 of the 1870 Act. The school closed permanently in 1992. The issue was whether reverter had . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromFraser and Fraser v Canterbury Diocesan Board of Finance Integrated Services Programme CA 28-Jan-2004
The claimants sought a reversion of land conveyed under the 1841 Act to trustees. The defendants (‘DBF’) as succesors to the trustees argued that by extending the range of pupils in the school, the trustees acquired a title independent of and . .
At first instanceFraser and Another v Canterbury Diocesan Board of Finance and others HL 27-Oct-2005
Land had been acquired by a deed under the 1841 Act, but had in 1995 ceased to be used as a school ‘for the education of children and adults of the labouring manufacturing and other poorer classes . . And for no other purpose ‘. Under the Act, the . .

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Updated: 23 March 2021; Ref: scu.182149