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A high court judge has upheld the Norfolk CC's view that the land on which a man's home stands is part of Briston v...
A high court judge has upheld the Norfolk CC's view that the land on which a man's home stands is part of Briston village green.

Mr Justice Dyson dismissed John Perry's judicial review challenge to the council's insistence that his half-acre plot forms part of the green.

Mr Perry, said later he had fought for years and spent thousands of pounds in a vain attempt to clarify the position, but now he faces a bill for thousands more in legal costs.

The painter and decorator said that because of his land's 'faulty title' he would never be able to sell his three-bedroom bungalow, 'Greenside', in Mill Lane, Briston, Melton Constable.

Mr Justice Dyson said there was no dispute that Mr Perry and his brother owned the land, but ruled that it remained part of the village green 'by custom'.

By Act of Parliament in 1870 the bulk of what is now the village green had been allotted to the parish for the 'exercise and recreation' of local residents.

The remainder of the land had been granted to an individual, but from 1937 to 1945 it was used by local children playing football and cricket.

But in 1947 Mr Perry's father erected a fence between the disputed half-acre and the rest of the village green. He - and later his sons - kept poultry on the land.

In 1974 John Perry was ruled by the Chief Commons Commissioner to be the land's joint owner with his brother, but the judge said that by that time the land had already been registered as a village green by the county council.

Mr Perry in 1974 began building his bungalow on the land, obtaining retrospective planning permission for the development two years after that.

He applied to the council to amend its register of common land so as to delete his land-holding from the village green, but was turned down in October last year.

Dismissing his judicial review challenge, Mr Justice Dyson ruled his half-acre was part of the village green 'by custom', adding: 'He has failed to show that the Perry land ceased to be a village green after the date of registration.'

Mr Perry was ordered to pay the legal costs of the two day hearing.

He said outside court that he had discovered the problem with the title of his land when he first tried to sell it several years ago.

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