Council wants our land in trust
Our council wants our land for a development. We as a trust own almost a hectare of land, and the council has been consulting us on our views. Its not really a consulation, we were initially told we were now irrelevant as a trust and the land would just be automatically be retained by the council and the trust would be disbanded. We legally bought the land around 15 years ago, the council still in verbal agreement maintained the cutting of the grass for all of those years. When we complained about the way we were being treated with regards to the development, ie other landholders were given other land, and one was given 12 million for his which is smaller than ours, they stopped cutting the grass for around 6 months and then gave us a bill for grass cutting for the past two years for over £4000.
This i find to be bullying tactics, they now claim that the verbal agreement was that we should cut the grass and that they wont chase us for the past 15, also that if we just give them the land the debt would be forgotten about.
Recently I've found out through different channels that they intend to compulsory purchase the land which i have proof of. I confronted the council about it, which they denied, i showed the proof, and they just brushed it off as just an inquiry, nothing serious.
In the two years that we've been involved in so-called consultation, we've asked time and again if we need legal advice which they told us we didn't as it would just be a handover of land no need for lawyers to get involved. I've asked also repeatedly for them to provided all of the options available to us with regards to the land itself, and they just keep showing us the one option of handing the land over. I asked if we could get funds for legal advice and they denied us.
Is there anything we can do about this, they've already put in an initial outlying planning permission for our land.
1st thing to do is GET a lawyer. The council are biased and will tell you anything to make it easier for them to obtain the land the easiest way possible. You have to fight fire with fire and stand up for your rights. The council don't have any power over the trust unless you (the trust) gives it to them, so don't give it. Get as much incriminating evidence as possible against the council, also keep a timeline of everything thats happened and include letters, telephone conversations and so on , so that it works in your favour. Also, don't sign anything from the council or agree to anything that they say etc. The fight comes down to you and them...... and don't be afraid to take it to court either. Be confident that a sherriff/judge will rule in your favour. You may also be able to turn the tables on the council by claiming damages for bullying and harrassment against them also, but thats only my opinion. A lawyer will be able to clarify that in further detail.
Thanks for the advice, do you are anyone else here know where i can find the appropriate laws in this respect
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