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Manor Ground: Covenants

Entrance to Oxford United

Oxford United has had problems over covenants at the new stadium. There were also covenants on the land that they are leaving, made in favour of Headington Bowls Club, which prevented the land being used for anything other than an open-air sports ground; but sadly the Bowls Club has recently sold their right to these covenants to the football club. The details are outlined below, but it seems now that nothing can be done to enforce them.

Oxford United Football Ground: Main part of land to the north

HM Land Registry Reference: ON7647:
Entries subsisting in the register on 27 July 2000

The Charges Register of ON7647 (containing charges etc. adversely affecting the land) mentions that there are restrictive covenants still in force in the following two documents:

Conveyance dated 23 October 1961

between

(1) Headington Sports Ground Limited and
(2) Headington United Football Club Company Limited

This binds “as far as may be” to restrictive covenants any future owner of the land

For the benefit and protection of the land and premises retained by the Vendor [Headington Sports Ground Limited] and known as the Bowls Green premises and the site of the access thereto from Osler Road … and so as to bind so far as may be the property hereby conveyed to whosesoever hands the same may come the Purchaser hereby covenants with the Vendor that the Purchaser and the persons deriving title under the Purchaser will at all times hereafter observe and perform the restrictive and other covenants set out in the First Schedule hereto.”

That First Schedule states:

Clause 1: “The Purchaser shall not use the lands hereby conveyed for any purpose other than as an open air Sports Ground.”

Clause 2: “On the erection or replacement of any additional or substituted or enlarged … buildings adjoining the eastern boundary of the said land the Purchaser shall not allow or permit the same to be of a greater height up to the eaves than twenty six feet from the existing ground level on the Vendor’s side of the said boundary at the western end of the site of the said access from Osler Road aforesaid and thirty feet from the existing ground level to the roof ridge thereof.”

 

Deed dated 29 November 1985

between

(1) Raymond Dennis Cooper and John James Mason (owners of the Bowls Club) and
(2) Oxford United Football Club PLC

The football club drains pass under neighbouring property, and the section in bold in the paragraph below places restrictions on these drainage arrangements and is marked by hand “Expressed entry” on the original document:

The Owners [of the land over which the sewage pipes from the ground pass] hereby grant unto the Grantees [Oxford United PLC] … full right and liberty for the Grantee and its successors in title the owners and occupiers of the Grantee’s land and its and their respective servants and licensees during such time as the Grantee’s land shall be used wholly as a sports ground offices and facilities thereto but not further or otherwise in common with the Owners to use the said sewage drains for the passage or conveyance of water and soil from a maximum of one urinal and two closets situated on the Grantee’s land but for no other purpose whatsoever.

Oxford United Football Ground: Supporters’ Club to south

HM Land Registry Reference: ON2955:
Entries subsisting in the register on 27 July 2000

The Charges Register of ON2955 (containing charges etc. adversely affecting the land) refers to a number of documents,  including the important restrictive covenant in the conveyance of 23 October 1961 (see previous page) that:

”The Purchaser shall not use the lands hereby conveyed
for any purpose other than as an open air Sports Ground.”

There are two new charges in this register which are also relevant:

3. … The Supporters Club HEREBY COVENANT with the Football Club with the intent to bind the remaining land in Title Number ON2955 into whosesoever hands the same may come that the said remaining land would be used only for the purpose of a Clubhouse and car park and incidental buildings of a Supporters Club of the Football Club recognised as such by the Football Club.

5. … The Supporters Club HEREBY covenants with the Football Club with the intent to bind the land hereby transferred into whosesoever hands the same may come and that the benefit of this covenant should attach to the retained Land of the Football Club of Title number ON76747 [should this be ON7647?] that the land hereby transferred would be used only for the purpose of a Clubhouse and car park and incidental buildings of a supporters club of the Football Club recognised as such by the Football Club.

© Stephanie Jenkins

 

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