One of the vital prosperous males in Britain has been accused of extreme greed after he allegedly demanded annual lease of £600,000 for permitting a brand new prepare line to cross his land.
Ralph Percy, twelfth Duke of Northumberland, owns land which can be crossed by the brand new Northumberland Line to service disadvantaged communities – however that allegedly has not stopped the multi-millionaire from demanding eye-watering lease.
Beneath historic ‘wayleave’ guidelines, landowners can enable entry to their land for remuneration, together with by way of annual lease as one of many choices. Percy is reportedly value £315 million and owns, amongst different property, Alnwick Fort, featured within the ‘Harry Potter’ films.
A lawyer representing Northumberland County Council, Richard Turney, instructed a public inquiry in Blyth that wayleave lease provisions are “archaic” and associated to “the unique major goal of the railway, to serve coal mines.”
“This has culminated within the Duke of Northumberland twice threatening to terminate the wayleaves in a dispute over lease, together with after this software was made, with a rare demand for greater than £600,000 in lease,” Turney mentioned, in accordance with the BBC’s Native Democracy Service.
The lawyer mentioned the “stranglehold over public assets” is “inappropriate.”
Responding to Turney’s feedback, a consultant for Northumberland Estates, the corporate that manages the duke’s huge lands, instructed the media that it “strongly refutes the allegations” and “wholeheartedly” needs success for the mission.
The spokesperson claimed that the controversy is definitely associated to a different “separate and an extended operating” dispute with Community Rail, who “try to say personal property rights with out acceptable session and compensation.”
The response didn’t appear to assuage the anger of native residents hoping to learn from the brand new railway line. One Blyth resident instructed The Mirror that Percy “is already nicknamed ‘Scrooge McDuke’ by individuals round right here and you may see why.”
The result of the inquiry, which was accomplished in early December, can be recognized in 2022, with the report attributable to be despatched to the federal government for consideration.
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