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Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions v Baylis (2000) 80 P. & C.R. 324; [2000] 3 P.L.R. 61; [2000] 2 E.G.L.R. 13

DATE: 14 Apr 2000

Thomas Jefferies acted for the successful purchaser in this useful case concerning the relationship between highway rights and land registration. The purchaser had contracted to buy land with vacant possession, fronting a road, and was subsequently registered as proprietor. The Secretary of State then claimed that part of the land had been dedicated as highway for road widening work.

The purchaser claimed damages against the vendor for failing to give vacant possession.

The Judge held that the land was highway, and that the Secretary of State had an overriding interest over the surface of the land pursuant to the Land Registration Act 1925 s.70(1)(a) which bound the purchaser. As a result the vendor failed to give vacant possession, and the purchaser was entitled to damages.