A legal battle is underway over the ownership of a village playing field, with a former resident attempting to claim ‘squatter’s rights’.
Kingston Field is a meadow in Fylingthorpe that was bequeathed to village residents by Alderman Pannett, who also left Whitby the park which now carries his name.
Since 1920 the field has been used by parishioners for a variety of uses - from hanging out their laundry to the meeting of local Girl Guides groups and village fairs.
However, former resident Vi Pain is undertaking a legal battle against the parish council in an attempt to claim ownership of a portion of the park.
“Why would she want a part of land to garden that was given to the public by Mayor Pannett?” said Fylingdales parish chairman Graham Irving. “How is she going to garden it now she doesn’t live in the parish? The bottom line is it’s causing upset for a lot people, especially because she doesn’t even live their any more.”
The patch of land Mrs Pain is claiming is about half the size of a tennis court and sits behind her former neighbour’s home.
Although she sold her own property last year, Mrs Pain is claiming that she tended that patch of field for over 20 years without the knowledge of the trustees, the local parish council.
This would entitle her to claim squatters rights and ownership of that small section of the meadow.
Residents who live around the borders of Kingston Field all pay an encroachment fee which allows them use of the entire field, providing they get permission from the other residents. Between 1993 and 2005 this allowed Mrs Pain to tend land to the rear of her home and the adjacent property.
If no resolution is reached, a tribunal will meet where both sides stake a claim to the field, with the Land Registry deciding the outcome.
The owners of Brook House and the new owner of Brookroyd have no connection with the claim.
The Whitby Gazette attempted to contact Mrs Pain but she declined to comment.