Hitchin Cow Commoners Trust, Re: ChD 5 Dec 2001

Land was registered as a common. Rights had been created over the land under the 1882 Act after the Inclosure Acts. Were these rights in the nature of charitable trusts? No use of the land as a cow common had taken place with living memory, and most of the land had been occupied as a football club under leases.
Held: The issue was as to whether trust was for the intended beneficiaries as a class of resident freemen, or a decision of general application on the nature of the interest of commoners in the compensation fund. The beneficiaries of the trust for use as common land for grazing are the occupiers from time to time. The Commissioners had correctly declared a trust of the land, and being a trust for the residents of a town, it was charitable.

Mr Justice Lawrence Collins
[2001] EWHC Ch 468
Commons Registration Act 1965, Commonable Rights Compensation Act 1882
England and Wales
CitedNash v Coombs 1868
The parties disputed interests in a sum of andpound;3053 paid by the Midland Railway Company for the acquisition in 1866 of common land. The right of common was vested in resident freemen as a result of an award of the Inclosure Commissioners in . .
CitedRe Christchurch Inclosure Act 1888
. .
CitedPeggs and Others v Lamb and Others ChD 20-Apr-1993
Where beneficiaries had dwindled and income increased, the class of beneficiaries was extended. A gift to a class of people would be construed to be charitable unless there was something in the gift to exclude the presumption. It had been submitted . .
CitedRe Hadden ChD 1931
A trust of land for its use for the purposes of public recreation such as playing fields, parks, and gymnasiums, is charitable. Clauson J construed the late Mr Hadden’s will as establishing a trust for the supply of healthy recreation carried on . .
CitedBrisbane City Council v Attorney General for Queensland PC 1978
Lord Wilberforce approved Somervell LJ’s words in Greenhalgh: ‘This is the true basis of the doctrine in Henderson v Henderson and it ought only to be applied when the facts are such as to amount to an abuse: otherwise there is a danger of a party . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Charity

Updated: 18 December 2021; Ref: scu.167104