Formation of The square ActSTATEMENT AND ANALYSIS OF THE BRIGHTON
CORPORATION ACTS PART VI of 1884
and PART XV OF THE ACT of 1931
- by -
A Statement concerning Nine Enclosure Gardens vested in the Corporation of Brighton as Trustees. They are Bedford Square, Hanover Crescent, Marine Square, Norfolk Square, Regency Square, Russell Square all subject to Appropriation Clause of Section 271 Part XV of the Brighton Act of 1931.
New Steine, Powis Square and Royal Crescent are exempt from the appropriation clause of 1931.
More than a hundred years ago - Certain building sites were designed with an Enclosed Lawn or Garden in the centre of several Squares, Crescents or Places in Brighton - as an annexe to the houses - and for the use and enjoyment by the first purchasers of building sites or houses their heirs or assigns. The Vendor granting to each Purchaser an equal right and beneficial interest in the soil of the garden as that possessed by the Vendor.
The Vendor having set apart an enclosure garden for use as an annexe to the houses erected on the building sites - Granted for a good and sufficient monetary consideration - either by Parole or Conveyance a relative title to the Enclosure Garden adjacent to the sites or houses as being included in the Absolute title granted to Purchasers of houses or building sites.
The Vendor probably retained the title deeds of the Enclosure Garden for safe custody until the Vendors interest was transferred by the Act of 1884 Sections 32 and 37 from the heirs or assigns of the Vendor to the heirs or assigns of the first Purchasers of building sites or houses.
Subsequent to a conversation with the Town Clerk of Brighton a Mr. Somers Clark in a letter dated 3rd of July 1883 supplied the basis on which Mr. Tillstone the Town Clerk of that period framed Part VI of The Brighton Improvement Act of 1884.
By this Act of 1884 - The Brighton Corporation became self-appointed Trustees of the Nine privately owned Enclosure Gardens - and imposed on Owners of houses whether resident or non-resident a Statutory Obligation to Purchase such remnant of the right to the Enclosure Garden - that was held by the person or persons in whose possession the title deeds remained - as had not previously been transferred to those Owners by Parole or Conveyance with their freehold houses or building sites.
This Compulsory Purchase was effected by the Brighton Corporation as Trustees - lending the money at five per cent per annum until the principal and interest had been repaid by instalments.
The Trustees used the Public Health Act of 1875 to authorise each Enclosure Committee to levy a separate Purchase Rate.
The Purchase rate was paid in full by Resident Owners. Non-resident Owners paid three quarters of the Purchase rate and their Tenant Occupiers one quarter of the rate - the benefit of the tenants contribution devolving on the termination of their tenancies on the Owner of the house they occupied.
By the Act of 1884 The Brighton Corporation vested the nine Enclosure Gardens in themselves as Trustees.
But this Act although vesting the Enclosures in the Trustees - makes no grant of any beneficial interest in the soil of these gardens to The Trustees - and no Vested Interest other than as Trustees appointed to protect the Trusts from infringement or alienation.
The Act of 1884 released non-resident Owners from contributing to the upkeep of an enclosure garden - and granted to Tenants a Statutory right to use the enclosure garden during their tenancies.
The nine separate enclosure Committees are elected annually - each Committee having five elected members - the Mayor of Brighton being a member of each Committee as well as a Trustee.
No Committee is authorised by the Act of 1384 to assist the Trustees to extinguish any of the Trusts - or to sell the enclosure garden or the Railings and Gates which are Owners fixtures that go with the land.
But The Trustees by Section 271 of Part XV of the Act of 1931 granted to Six of the Enclosure Committees the right with the consent of two thirds of the Owners - to give to the Trustees the freehold garden which they had been elected for one year only to maintain and keep in repair.
It seems incredible that the Trustees scrutinised the Act of 1884 and framed Clause 301 - page 174 of their proposed Bill of 1930 - amending this by Section 271 of Part XV of the Brighton Act 1931 as both these clauses appear to be preparatory to the purpose of extinguishing their Trusts contrary to the general usage of Trustees as expressed in Stone's Justices Manual.
The Appropriation Clause of the Act of 1931 does not exist in the Trustees Act of 1884 - and the "Compulsory Purchase" of the Act of 1884 is entirely omitted from the Act of 1931.
The Question arises. Do the Trustees hold any Trust deed or Covenants concerning these Trusts that grants to them the right to prepare to extinguish these Trusts? - and would the appropriation clause in the Act of 1931 have been passed if The Compulsory Clause of 1884 had been clearly published and delineated in the Trustees Act of 1931?
The omission of the Purchase Clause in the Act of 1931 appears to be an oversight on the part of those who framed the Act. But the insertion of the Appropriation Clause appears to be a breach of Trust unless the Trustees can produce evidence to the contrary.
And the Question arises - As to whether Part XV of the Act of 1931 should not be repealed in consequence of the omission and the insertion stated above?
Compiled byWilliam Plews,