§ Mr. Delargy
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food where the common rights in Bulphan Fen, Essex, were quashed; how long these common rights had existed before they were quashed; when this common land was first sold or leased to private individuals; and what action he is taking to restore the common rights.
§ Mr. Scott-Hopkins
An area of 226 acres of Bulphan Fen was requisitioned in 1942 under the Defence Regulations for food production. After the war it was decided to retain possession of it in the interests of food production and, in accordance with special Parliamentary procedure, a compulsory purchase order was made in 1951. The soil was purchased from the Lord of the Manor in February, 1956 and the common rights were extinguished in June, 1956, under the powers vested in the Minister by Section 85 of the Agriculture Act, 1947. Compensation was agreed with, and paid to, both the Lord of the Manor and the common right holders. On completion of these transactions the land became unencumbered freehold land. All of it has since been sold in six lots, the first being in March, 1960, and the last in May, 1963. The last part of the Question does not therefore arise.
I have no information as to how long common rights existed on Bulphan Fen before they were extinguished.