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Did landowner try to con us?

5th November 2015 @ 6:06am – by Bob Cartwright
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The bid to build behind the Tollgate and Moorsfield area to the north west of the village was featured in AudlemOnline's report yesterday of Audlem's Parish Council meeting on Monday which was addressed by agents of the landowner.

Today, readers may be interested in the amazing tale of an encounter with the landowner behind the bid to build at least 65 new homes on farmland to the north west of the village.

Almost eight years ago, we moved into our new house in Matthews Way which had been built pretty well on the site of the old Moorsfield House. The road was named after the previous owner of the land and the old house.

About a year later, there was a knock on the door early one evening and I found a couple standing in the porch. "Oh no, not Jehovah Witnesses," was my first thought but they introduced themselves and asked if they could come in to show us some drawings and discuss an important issue.

After laying out the plans on the table, the woman – at this stage and throughout the encounter her husband remained very quiet and look decidedly embarrassed to be there – explained how she had inherited from Mr Matthews the land our house was built on and also the fields behind Moorsfied Avenue and Tollgate Drive. I thought what a lucky lady as the land Matthews Way was built on had fetched a very handsome price at the height of the building boom.

She then said that the plans she had showed that she still owned a small strip of our front garden adjacent to the Whitchurch Road but that she was willing to sell it to us for £5,000.

I then retrieved our copies of the documents we had received during the land searches the previous year which showed the complete opposite of what the woman was claiming.

Deciding I had had enough of this discussion, with a beaming smile, I said that we were delighted she owned that particular part of the garden as it contained mature Lime and Horse Chestnut trees which were going to be expensive to maintain with all the costs of regular tree surgeon checks and presumed she would look after those costs in future.

She then, in good News of the World reporter style, made her excuses and left rapidly, accompanied by her even more embarrassed husband, never to be heard of again until she was named as the landowner at Monday's Parish Council meeting.

The question is:

  • Why hadn't she taken it up with the builder during the previous year or so before the house was sold and we moved in?
  • Or did she genuinely believe that she owned that strip of land and felt that £5,000 was a very reasonable price that we were sure to jump at?
  • Or, did she think it was worth a gamble to use those outdated documents, even though she did not own that land anymore, to con us out of £5,000?

Your thoughts would be very welcome. But a further thought: if she genuinely believed she owns the land, why has she done nothing to maintain the strip and its mature trees since then?

I publish this article because its always worth knowing the type of person you are dealing with in any transaction and she and her representatives were seeking support in the village on Monday night for their planned development. Having met the woman, I know where I stand as far as helping her!

This article is from our news archive. As a result pictures or videos originally associated with it may have been removed and some of the content may no longer be accurate or relevant.

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