Exclusion of mines and minerals: the considerations

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Reservations of mines and minerals have come into sharp focus over the last year and pose a new challenge for developers. Minerals owners such as the Church Commissioners and the Crown have made a large number of applications around the country to register their titles to mines and minerals arising from ancient manorial rights. These have given rise to new entries reserving minerals and need careful consideration.

The background to these applications is that after 12 October 2013 a purchaser of registered land will not be subject manorial rights unless they are protected on the title. Sometimes a notice of the rights will be entered on the title but where a minerals owner can show good evidence of title to the minerals, it can apply to register the minerals with a separate title – and we have come across a number of these applications. This type of application can be made at any time.

The risk with a reservation of mines and minerals is that the minerals owner may allege trespass if the foundations interfere with the minerals. Plot purchasers may be concerned about the risk of the minerals being worked in the future and possible subsidence, even if the reservation makes it clear that the minerals owner cannot enter the land to extract or cause any damage to the surface land…

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