William and Louise overwelmed by support for their proposals for the Business and Garden centre

As many know , Louise and I have faced decades of objection from one of our neighbours, (see post on the dispute over private road) to the development of our Farmyard areas, in the urban area as a Garden and Business Centre.   

Four  applications F/TH/20/0261, F/TH/20/0419, F/TH/20/0320 and F/TH/20/1418 were submitted in 2020 to  confirm that my proposals offer public benefit, are in accordance with planning policy and cause no harm to the conservation area , heritage assets, green infrastructure  or the amenity of the area.

A recent objection  Doug Brown re F_TH_20_1418 is a repeat of old objections 16 06 18 Plan Cons to TDC referring back to settled past issues about the private road and old defeated  legal claims. 

j s F_TH_20_1418- SUPPORT

j r  F_TH_20_0419-SUPPORT 

the first of these applications 20/1418 was passed at committee on the 19th May 21  in accordance with officers recommendations.  officers report 20 1418

This   application to improve the accesses onto George Hill Road can now be implemented to reduce traffic down the private road, improving, road safety and traffic segregation , improving the settings of the listed buildings along it for everyone’s mutual benefit. 

The second application, F/TH/20/0261 for alteration of the roof of block D, has now also been approved , F_TH_20_0261-DELEGATED_REPORT-890983.  The objections raised were repeats of old objections already raised in 2014 and 2016 against approved applications  – Kevin Palmer F_TH_20_0261-OBJECTS-861457 – This application  reduces the maximum height of the approved building from 4.5m to 3.6m , – below the height of the boundary screening .  21 05 27 -JS 2nd drft support  , 

We now await the out come of the next two applications. The continued use of the site for existing  uses will preserve the garden, farmyard and horticultural nature of the site . 

claire cartier – F_TH_20_1418-SUPPORT

We sincerely thank all those who have written in , in support of these applications. These letters are available to view on the TDC planning website under the above reference numbers . The two quoted below, from Margate Civic Society and Ramsgate Operatic Society,  encapsulate all the overall points. We really hope and believe that the determination of these applications will now draw a final line under the disagreements of the past , allowing us to invest in improving the facilities we offer to local small businesses and charitable groups.  


Ramsgate Operatic Society,  Broadstairs, Kent


Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing in support of the planning applications by Mr William Friend in respect of Northdown Business Centre. Margate, Kent, CT9 3TS.

The application references are F/TH/20/0261, F/TH/20/0419, F/TH/20/0320 and F/TH/20/1418.

I am fully aware of the proposals contained in the applications which I believe will enhance and improve the entire site. In addition I believe that if granted, the changes will allow the buildings and facilities to blend in further and add to the character of the whole conservation area around the location.

Secondly, The public benefit for the community would be further assured by consolidating the current arrangements for the existing small businesses and charities that use the site.

I am writing this letter of support as the Secretary for Ramsgate Operatic Society on behalf of the entire committee of trustees as I have been able to witness at first hand the benefit to the community and charitable organisations such as ours. The site owners have provided storage facilities for our costumes and scenery with an initial six month rent freeze followed by a monthly rental charge well below the average commercial rate.

I am also aware of the generosity and support given to other registered charities that regularly use the site including the Thanet Male Voice Choir of which I am a member.

I believe that Ramsgate Operatic Society will benefit further from the changes allowed by successful applications as it would eventually allow the provision of larger and improved storage facilities for the Society.

My fellow trustees have been consulted and are also fully in agreement with the applications for the same reasons listed above. They are:

Paul Trindall: Chairman, Mary Pickett: Treasurer, Barry Todd: Trustee, Linda Sanford : Trustee, Nathan Karro : Trustee, Thomas Mitchel: Trustee, Rhea Woodward: Trustee,

Yours Sincerely

Ken Pickett,  (Secretary to the Trustees)


From: “mike.thompson>
To: emma.fibbens@thanet.gov.uk
Sent: Tuesday, 27 Apr, 2021 At 20:14
Subject: East Northdown Farm – planning applications ref; – F/TH/20/0261, F/TH/20/0419, F/TH/20/0320, F/TH/20/1418.

Dear Ms Fibbens,

Margate Civic Society submits the following comments in full support of the above planning applications.

The site provides for mixed usage which re-enforces and supports the sustainability of the farm itself whilst at the same time offering diversity that supports a garden centre, cafe, small business units and educational use. This mixed usage is most commendable as it provides affordable opportunities to small local businesses who would be unable to thrive outside this environment owing to the high rental charges in force elsewhere.

We hear much talk about affordable housing provision but virtually none about affordable commercial provision but it is clear that occupiers of units on the site are grateful for the opportunities provided.

The planning applications do, therefore, support local employment and seek to further the existing local interest and viability of the site. The intention to maintain, invest in and improve this connection is to be applauded. It would be all too easy to sell out to an out of town developer for some grandiose residential scheme and turn away from the local connection that is currently provided.

It is, therefore, the opinion of Margate Civic Society that the planning applications submitted will further improve the site and the development of the local green economy and for these reasons, the Society fully supports their approval together with any safeguarding conditions that may be considered appropriate.

Thanking you,

Yours sincerely,

Mr.M.Thompson (for Margate Civic Society)

 Margate CT9 


Final End to 36 years of Legal Challenges ?

William and Louise Friend are pleased to announce that we have finally defeated long standing legal challenges to their title to and claims of extra  access rights over, their private road at East Northdown , for development of land at East Northdown House and grounds by Peter Robert Miles, beyond the express rights/easements first granted. Having reached a global settlement in 2013 , that was to be the end of all disputed matters , the other side chose to fight on for a further 8 years to avoid completion/registration of the original 1982 terms and further agreed 2013 terms. Only now that matters are no longer ‘sub judice‘ can we set out a record of some the key claims , witness statements, and concluding orders and judgements. I try and do this in an impartial way setting out both sides of the argument in reciprocal witness statements , with 3rd party statements , judgements and decisions . The allegations, claims and challenges brought against us have been a terrible blight on our lives for over three and a half decades , an exhausting and debilitating struggle and a terrible waste of resources, but they had to be met and defeated.     

The Northdown Estate has been in the Friend , Tomlin , Sackett families since records began. The 6 properties along the East Northdown private road, other than the farm and farmhouse, have each been granted easements, when sold, for use a single private dwelling each and with an obligation to pay towards the road maintenance costs. I came to run the family farm at East Northdown in the autumn of 1985 at the age of 21 , having freshly graduated from Christ Church , Oxford in agricultural and forest sciences. I took over the business from F.A. Steed t/a Steed and Nicholass Ltd in June 1986 , after 9 months as farm manager . Percy Walter Steed took the tenancy from my grandfather, Cpt. (WWI, Major WWII) James Irvine Hatfeild Friend, MC, JP, OBE in 1937. My father Irvine James Cowley Friend, started his dairy farming business in Staffordshire. Throughout this time , the farm occupier maintained the road , on behalf of the family/landlord under the terms of their tenancy. My unmarried great aunt , Maude Irvine Friend , JP and scouts commissioner, held a tenancy for life of Lawn cottage , East Northdown House  and East Northdown Cottage , from my grandfather , JIHF  , which passed to my father IJCF on her death in 1963 as part of JIHF’s estate,( even though he predeceased her) . Maude was of limited means , so made no contribution to the maintenance of the road to her brother JIHF.  The road , and all adjoining properties belonged entirely to James Taddy Friend , JIHF and IJCF in turn, until the sale of first of the six properties by IJCF, Oast Cottage, in the 1970’s . My father died in 2003 at which point title to the road passed to me and was finally registered in my name in 2011. 

Oast Cot rd payment 77 

1977 bill to Oast cottage for the agreed road maintenance charges.    

13 02 04 George Goodall WS

2013 Witness statement explaining the road maintenance provisions at East Northdown 

0 82 06 E N House contract .

The original 1982 sales contract setting out the agreed terms of sale and use of East Northdown House is now finally appended to the deed of grant on the title deeds of East Northdown House , Paddock and Orchard and my access roads.  The property may be used as a single private dwelling only with no conversion of the outbuildings or other secondary dwellings or uses (other than a domestic horse paddock). A regular road maintenance levy was to be paid annually, which Mr. Miles paid each year until 1986.

0 82 IJCF to St Gore re terms of sale

0 86 12 11 Road maintnc levy for 84, 85, 86,pd to IJCF

My father sold EN house to raise funds for death duties on my maternal grandfather, Sir Henry Hinchliffe, ‘s estate at Mucklestone Staffs. My father always intended that one of the family would return to run the farm in due course. I was the one who was interested in horticulture , whereas my brothers are a vet, a dairy farmer , and one sister has a fish farm. 

The agreed sale price of £75,000 (£70k house, £5k for the paddock) reflected a reduced price for the property restricted in use to a single private dwelling , rather than full potential value of the site for unrestricted development and/or commercial uses. 

82 E N H transfer

The 1982 transfer includes a protective covenant for East Northdown Cottage, that the use of the blue land , the side access to the garden paddock (and orchard)  should only be used for ‘reasonable’ purposes’ -this covenant has always been registered at the land registry.  Uses for new developments or uses that breach the terms of the 1982 sales contract , cannot be reasonable , and are therefore prohibited. 

It was decided to sell East Northdown Cottage in 1985 , the elderly residents having died. The cottage needed complete renovation . A sale was agreed , but not completed with a local building firm . Mr. Miles was anxious to buy the property to free himself of the covenants protecting the property from disturbance etc. He made a threat in April 1986 that if a sale to a third party went ahead the ‘repercussions for you son will be endless’. A sale was completed to the Riordan’s in Autumn 86 , and the cottage and buildings lovingly and sympathetically restored.

0 86 Miles threat 

My father reminded Mr.Miles of the terms of their sales contract , that there were no parking rights in the road, no rights for commercial uses  or vehicular or independent access rights to my aunts Orchard area.  

0 86 Miles threat rply 1 

but the  ‘repercussions’ of the sale of East Northdown Cottage, in terms of the campaign of retaliation against my seeking to uphold the original sales terms, and uphold/prove my title and control of the roads,  have indeed been ‘endless’ as he threatened in 1986 (and 2005), and have resulted in crippling costs. Surely now these unsuccessful challenges of 35 years can now finally be laid to rest?

0 86 10 ward valuation ENd ho, or pad

The above valuation shows that the value of the property for development, multiple dwellings or commercial uses, 1986 , would be roughly 4 times the actual price paid for the property in 1982 , subject to restrictions to use the property only as a single private dwelling .   The challenges and claims brought over the past 36 years start from this point in time up to the present. They have sought to disprove my and my fathers ownership and control of the access road, to free East Northdown House and Grounds  of any restrictions on its use by trying to establish that neither my father nor I exercised any title or control of the road or retained any  ‘benefit’ as owners of any of the 1982 ‘retained lane’. This in turn would enable unfettered use of the road for unrestricted commercial or residential development at ENH, increasing the value at least four fold .  In 1990 Burtons use this argument again – that the covenants no longer apply as Mr I.J.C. Friend no longer owns any ‘retained land’. This was not the case as IJCF DID still own the access roads, which passed to me on his death in 2003, I managed the roads on his behalf prior to his death, and the benefits of the covenants also passed to the new owners of the  other land retained in 1982 and sold subsequently, East Northdown Cottage and Lawn Cottage .  

 0 90 05 8 Burton to W & B benefit of land moribund

In 1990 we initiated proceedings to rectify the East Northdown House title to include the full terms of the contract . We have also sought to settle the dispute by repeatedly offering (2010, 2019) a means of access for further development, by a route that would not unduly impact on neighbouring dwellings and could be brought up to necessary highways standards without undue harm to the heritage assets. 

 A rectification claim was brought by us in 1990 – this is a simple process to align the transfer documents with the agreed contract. However instead of acceptance, this application was opposed by a complex counterclaim, relating in part to claims to title of an orchard, which belonged jointly to my aunts, defamation claims , fraud and other matters. In 1993 I discontinued our rectification claim , due to the spiralling costs (out of all proportion to the value of the orchard etc.), my father’s deteriorating health with Parkinson’s disease , and my lack of information about, and therefore my inability to counter,  the matters raised in the counterclaim.

I did not know then, that  the two claims of part performance and estoppel being threatened against my aunts had already been assessed as having ‘absolutely no merit ‘ for the reasons set out in the Stephens and Scown 1991 letter , nor did I have details of the many other matters being threatened, that were only disclosed at the 11th hour by which time I had already taken the decision to discontinue.

  0 91 09 24 stephens and scown to M resp. to M orchard title claims 1

In 2010 we were finally forced to concede possessory title of the ‘Orchard’,  on the basis of adverse possession (only).  We could not contest , that although occupied under a license, no rent had been paid since 1983. The other two claims of full title by part performance and estoppel still had ‘absolutely no merit’ however !  The Orchard  is a land locked parcel of woodland, having no means of access other than on foot from the Paddock of East Northdown House.  It is protected woodland in a conservation area, next to Northdown Park and subject to a tree preservation order. In 2013 we granted a right of access to it, in common with the paddock , for use as a paddock (not any other uses, or commercial uses ) . The paddock in turn has access in common with East Northdown House .  for uses ancillary to the use of East Northdown House. This additional grant of access, only confirms the rights granted in 1982 , which were to be rectified in 1990 – for the purposes set out in the 1982 contract , the easement is not severable from the rest of the property and the paddock cannot be enjoyed separately from the domestic use of East Northdown House as a single dwelling. 

The 1990’s counterclaim set the pattern for future relations – any attempt to resolve , ‘rectify’ or negotiate a settlement ,have been met by further claims and allegations. This strategy that did succeed in leading me to climbdown, without claiming costs in 1990-93, and the ‘costs neutral’ settlement of 2013.

0 86 M to LR IJCF no title to road

0 89 06 26 Cmpt re farm shop portacabin s64 det 91 05 24 

0 96 M objections to O licence renewal

0 98 03 11 M obj B1 CoU

The grounds for refusal to pay the road maintenance levy, as set out in the agreement and transfer, and the claim of unfettered access rights over the private road for purposes beyond those express rights in the agreement granted to him, was based in turn on a claim that my father was never the owner of the road, that I did not have due authority , to act as his ‘agent’ to carry out repairs to the road, or from 2003 as his successor in title to the road. Indeed , Since 1986 Mr. Miles has progressively sought to overturn the true position , completely on its head . He has not only argued to public agencies that the road no longer belongs to IJCF or Me, but that he is the owner and that it is I that enjoys no access up the road and that vehicles accessing the farm are therefore trespassing on his road and that I am liable to pay Him compensation/ damages for the cost of repairs. (see counsels opinions and letters to the LR below). 

He has tried to assert that the farm and business centre are subject to the same restrictions on commercial uses as my father and I have placed on the easements we granted to the other residential properties along the road on some kind of reciprocal basis. 

Throughout this process Mr. Miles has not understood that even if a piece of land is unregistered , it does not mean that nobody owns it. 

0 97 06 12 WF to GG, PM, NP & PM re road rep.

0 97 06 George Goodall re Road repair

I tried to undertake limited repairs in June 1997. Two neighbours contributed £200 each . Neil Piper had moved house. Five out of six neighbours contributed to the 07 and 09 repairs . 

06 04 M to LR re reg of road

07 07 M to LR re road title

06 LR title numbers

The claims of title to the road under ad melium filum presumption , and of proscriptive rights over the road , both lose sight of the fact that the express registered rights East Northdown House enjoys were granted for it , and for all the other properties fronting the lane, by my father and registered on the ENH title , on the basis of my father’s title to the road being accepted by the land registry in 1982 . At no point has Mr. Miles suggested that he wished to give up the express rights granted by my father and registered against his ENH title , but only that he wished to secure additional rights, and deny the reciprocal obligations and restrictions on the express rights enjoyed. 

The land registry have always made it clear that this is not how it works !  

  05 06 LR to M re title and rights over road  06 05 LR to M re title and rights over road 

Decades of trouble, expense and heartache could have been saved had he accepted this advice earlier that his position was untenable , and shared this with his own legal teams over the years .  The 2005 counsels opinion below and all the claims based upon it were all founded on the entirely false premises  that I.J.C.Friend did not own the road and that there was no mechanism in place for the maintenance and repair – both untrue and both quite clearly apparent from reading the November 1982 transfer , which Miles did not show to his own barrister ! There is a basic principle in law that one is ‘estopped’ from both benefitting from express rights granted by the owner of a roadway or other property , and also challenging the owners title to that property  and claiming rights enjoyed were established by proscription or other means , either the rights were validly granted or they weren’t. either -or, not both!   

05 01 05 Cnl opnn road nuisance claim

07 05 22 WF to KCC re road repairs & title

By 2007 , I set out my own proposals to KCC highways officers for my repairs to my road , and my legal position , and I was forced to incur the expense of proving my title and registering the road in my name, in the face of Miles objections,  to prove the true  position of my title to the agencies in the face of Miles’ allegations against me. 

05 05 Miles Threat 

Instead, of accepting the LR advice that his claims were ‘unlikely to succeed’ ,  two years after my fathers death the concerted campaign of allegations against me to public agencies to subvert my control of the road and harm my business and livelihood was intensified . 

This campaign was endorsed and supported by Council leader Sandy Ezekiel and Cllr Martin Wise.

white Miles Ezekiel    06 10 Wise Albon re C1 The Miles’ and Rowland- Spinkes’ were close political allies of Sandy Ezekiel and the Wises at this time, Peter Miles is godfather to Martin and Deborah  Wise’s daughter.

07 06 04 LR attendance note re road police

06 04 08 Albon TDC A Huch Highways re road

I was faced with conflicting allegations that I had no right of access up the road , no right to maintain the road , but a liability for my lack of repair to the road ! Even though the main access to my garden and business centre is and was via the main entrance off George Hill Road , Mr. Miles argued that my planning permission for the business centre should be rescinded , as I had no legal right of way up the private road , and that I had misled the council in 1987 , by serving notice on my father , instead of him, as the owner of the road.  

 07 06 06 WF to AH highwys re repairs

I finally brought the road up to full repair in several phases , with the full blessing of the highways authority and the majority of neighbours who made the contribution asked of them.

05 06 13 Main Obj re Bus . Units

06 04 3 obj unit E f th 06 086

Mr. Miles attacks against me initially focused on the ownership and control of the road ,but broadened out to include my use of the road for commercial purposes and then focused on attacks on the development of my garden centre and business centre as a whole . 

06 Than Gaz ‘latest round in Farm Fued’  

06 Tenants Petition

Thanet Dictrict Council investigated all these complaints at length in an in depth review of the 50 or so allegations made. Agreement was reached that the way forward was to reach a settlement between the parties , and a farm plan for the ongoing development of the farm, garden and business centre . 

08 06 WF to Fitt re conclusion of review

   08 12 WF LAO complaint form

09 01 TDC Vexatious complainants policy

Following the subsequent report of the local authority ombudsman into the investigations, TDC adopted new policies on handling vexatious complainants in January 2009.


1st registration of the road

Objections against the 1st registration of the road , following my father’s death in 2003 were finally overcome in 2011 and costs awarded to me. 

However in the meantime two further threats of proceedings against me were being made.  

10 JS to M re negotiating settlement

attempts have been made on many occasions over the years to reach a negotiated settlement to the dispute and come to normal commercial terms to end the dispute by granting access for development of the orchard .

09 Mitford Slade Damages opinion

The Mitford Slade opinions of 09 ,18,19, and the nuisance claims based upon them, increaseingly build on the  false premises of the 2005 opinion, that there is no known owner of the road, that I have no right of access over it , that bis is being used as the main access for the commercial uses of the farm , that this use is new and illegal and so on . The basic premise appears to be that I am liable to compensate Mr. Miles for the ‘diminuation in value’ of  ENH arising from my attempts to ensure ENH remains in use as a single private dwelling ,  rather than its potential development value of the property for multiple dwellings  and uses with unfettered access over my road – and in fact has nothing to do with my use of or my maintenance of the road – which are just used as a pretext for a claim.      

We have offered such access on normal commercial terms in search for a reasonable settlement on repeated occasions,  made every effort to minimise any use of the road for our own commercial uses and maintained the road in good order without any contribution from Mr. Miles. 

1st Berryman letter of claim


Instead of engagement , such offers have always been responded to by issuing further threats and claims. The 2010/11 claim of nuisance and damages against me was made on issues that had already been subject to the TDC , highways, police and land registry investigations. A defamation letter of claim was also served on me in Oct 2010. 

10 06 Email to Colin Fitt re Berryman letter of claim

The claim for damages was in large part a ‘re-run’ of the allegations against me investigated by TDC in their 2005-09 planning review and of allegations about the repairs and maintenance of the road resolved by the 2007, 09 repairs and should have been ended by completion the first registration in 2011. 

Templeton’s perscriptive rights claims 

12 06 27 persc rts Miles 1st amendedstatementofcase

12 11 2 persc rts signed WF Defence

A claim for multiple rights of way was made over the private road, that if granted, would have gone well beyond those granted in 1982 -being those for reasonable purposes ancillary to the use of the property as a single private dwelling. The additional rights sought would have included rights of way over the ‘blue land’ that breached the covenants benefitting the occupants of East Northdown Cottage.

.13 07 12 WF to PM Final Global offer

The proscriptive rights claim over the my road ,  came before the land registry adjudicator in July 2013, for a scheduled 3 day hearing. The offer to settle , above was made .  The damages claim against me was stayed pending conclusion of the 1st claim. After the site visit a global settlement was reached resolving all issues . The agreed terms were set out in a court order , known as a Tomlin Order. A deed of grant was to be entered into , setting out the scope of the rights of way enjoyed – those in the original 1982 contract – to use the paddock as a paddock and garden land in association with the use of East Northdown House as a single private dwelling. An indemnity was given by Mr. Miles to me for all my costs  – beyond the original drafting costs of £1,000, for concluding the registration of the deed at the Land Registry. My costs of defending the nuisance and proscriptive rights claims against me, (£80k eack), that should have ‘followed the event’ , were waived, giving a cost neutral settlement, as were all past and future road maintenance contributions, as part of the price of achieving the final and lasting end to all the legal challenges against me I was seeking.   No further claims over any old issues known of in 2013 were to be made. 

The Tomlin Order was concluded as a global settlement of all issues

13 07 Tomlin Order

Amongst those issues know of at the time were my existing business and garden centre uses at East Northdown farm , and my use of my own road to access my farm buildings.

A farm proposal plan was submitted to TDC at this time to confirm my plans for the  ongoing future use of my farm to continue in my long established garden and business centre uses , rather than the alternative – to enter into a purely residential redevelopment scheme for the area of my land in the urban area , which would have signalled the end of the use of the farm as independent agricultural holding , garden , business centre and community hub. 


13 12 20 JT to WF re ENd planng propls

My submissions to TDC regarding  the harassment I suffered , from enforcement action by TDC, and the maladministration of TDC resources ,submitted to the LAO and Monitoring officer in Nov 2008 (endorsed by Sir Roger Gale) were finally brought to a conclusion with the conviction and custodial sentence of former Council Leader ,Sandy Ezekiel.  Planning enforcement officer ,Steve Albon, gave evidence in court of how he was pressured to take enforcement action , and use TDC’s compulsory purchase powers against those targeted by Cllr. Ezekial  for his own financial and political gain. The case was prepared by the Monitoring officer  from the best of the evidence he had available . He presented that evidence to the CPS.   

Ezekiel Trial   13

Ezekiel behind bars

Despite the generous cost neutral terms of the Tomlin Order , we were unable to complete the deed in 2013 or early 2014.  Our chasings letters, seeking to conclude matters, were ignored. Unreasonable letters of objection were made to TDC in 2016  renewing the old patterns of allegations against my planning applications and uses in breach of the agreement. I could see we would be back to square 1 unless we pressed ahead with the conclusion of the registration of the Deed in accordance with the 2013 settlement and ensured the terms of the order were met and upheld. 

WF 1st Witness statement

M 1st Witness statement

Our service of our claim for the court to determine the terms of the Deed of Grant, firstly crossed over with yet another counter claim for defamation and harassment against me and secondly was further blocked a by an application to  ‘strike out’ our claim.  


WF 2nd Witness statement

The defamation claim was withdrawn at Christmas 2017 and some costs paid.  Two days of mediation at the international dispute resolution centre in Fleet street were held in 2018 .  The 1st mediation session started with the warning from the mediator that if matters could not be settled , then the further  costs of taking it to court would run up to several hundred thousand pounds , as has been the case.  I had nothing to gain from the proceedings – other than the peace of mind of completion of the agreed terms Tomlin Order , so it appears my neighbour gambled recklessly on the fact that my pockets would not be deep enough to see things through, if he stalled things long enough, even though he had indemnified me for my costs in doing so. 


Appeal refusal

2nd appeal dismissed


Repeated planning applications were made at East Northdown House ,  relating to the potential division of the property into separate dwellings and apartments, conversion of the existing garage for accommodation, building a new two story ‘triple garage’ , and ending with an application for two new dwellings on the paddock – all in breach of the  terms of the Tomlin order, Deed of Grant and 1982 ENH sales contract.

 18 10 04 Miles list of demands for JS negotiations

Following mediation we tried again to seek common ground in negotiation , but the list of Mr. Miles’ demands were impossible to meet. They kept reverted back to all the same issues since 1986, covered and finalised by the 2013 Tomlin Order. In particular in points 8 and 9 he sought the abandonment of the hard won agreed terms of the Deed of Grant completely -defining the terms of the easements he did enjoy and the complete cessation of all my commercial businesses at East Northdown – the total closure of my farm, garden centre and business centre !?! 

18 08 03 JS to PRM

Despite this we did try and engage , and repeat our previous offers of 2010, for what we believed he was truly seeking , but all based on concluding , not amending or abandoning the deed of grant as a first step, and ending of the dispute.  No progress could be made for as long as the deed of grant terms in 2013  remained unsigned and unregistered, or without any willingness to observe the other terms of settlement .

19 04 WF to Enf Off further complaints likely

19 04 10 WF to Enf Off re new complaints

19 05 02 WF to Enf Off re containers

19 08 05 letter of claim nuisance

In the summer of 2019 Mr. Miles also resorted to his old practice of making allegations of planning breaches against me. As usual these were repeats of old allegations that were decades old , against uses and permissions established for decades with all appropriate permissions and consents in place. Re-investigation of these old allegations went against the undertaking given during the 2005-2009 planning review of these allegations , that TDC would not do revisit such old settled issues .    

19 08 01 Mitford Slade opinion

WF 3rd Witness statement

The strike out application was due to be heard in August 2019 . Mr. Miles’s supporting evidence included a copy of his further draft particulars of claim issued a few days before the hearing . This was a repeat of the letters of claims made in 2018, the discontinued 2011 nuisance claim, the 2017 discontinued defamation claim and the 2010 defamation letter of claim. They were therefore in breach of the terms of the 2013 global settlement – that both parties intended to end the dispute and would not repeat past , settled legal claims. It was again based on the expert opinion of Mr. Miles’ chartered surveyor – Mr. Mitford Slade on the same terms raised in his 2009 letter  – before the registration of the road or 2013 settlement as if neither had occurred. 

19 09 26 FP response to dPoC nuis def

The 2018 and 2019 letters take no account of, nor even makes reference to, the  maintenance provisions for the road set out in the 1982 transfer ,  to the planning review or LAO findings , to the repairs undertaken in 2007 and 2009, the 1st registration of the road and costs award of 2011 , to the limited scope of the access rights set out in the original 1982 contract, nor to the subsequent provisions set out in the 2013 Global settlement or Tomlin Order . It holds me responsible for the continuation of the dispute and the consequent blight on property values, not vice versa.   Mr. Miles strategy of bringing claims and allegations against me to deter me from my purpose of defeating his claims against me seems in part to be due to his success of his counterclaims in 1993 at ‘heading off’ my 1990 rectification claim .  

Friend v Miles – Approved Judgment – 05.11.19 v.1


The strike out hearing was held in August 2019 and judgement handed down on 5th November 2019 . The strike out application was dismissed and costs awarded . Even then the other side would not sign the deed . We offered a version under the precise terms set out in the 2013 Tomlin Order , with all the usual supplementary ‘boiler plate’ clauses stripped away.

 3rd witness statement of PM    Actually 4th as the first ‘3rd witness statement for the August 19 hearing was inadmissible.


WF 4th Witness statement

at the eleventh hour a further 4th witness statement was submitted well past the deadline , in effect a second strike out application . Mr. Miles was advised to withdraw this application at the opening of the May hearing, as it stood no chance of success and would have caused further delays and expense for all sides . 

On 26th May 2020 a final hearing of my 2017 claim to the court to determine the terms of the Deed of Grant was heard – remotely due to the covid 19 restrictions . 

final order  

Deed of Grant signed by PM


Both Judges ended their judgements with the plea that this should be the final end of the dispute . Lets hope that my neighbour will now be content to enjoy his historic and beautiful property as a family home within the constraints against commercial or multiple use placed on its ongoing use by my late father to safeguard this unspoilt historic corner of Thanet.. 

21 07 07 FP summary of dispute .   

Mr Miles is still submitting planning applications with the apparent intention of having multiple dwellings and uses at East Northdown House without any legal means of accessing such developments – having refused all offers from us of providing suitable a means of doing so.  21 06 WF to TDC planning obj    DH to Thanet_District_Council

A final aside is that the 2013 Tomlin order at the centre of this case , takes its name after a 1920’s law lord, Lord Cheshire Tomlin of Ash, who was my grandfather, JIHF’s, second cousin twice over !  His grandmother Mary Tomlin (nee Tomlin) was born at  East Northdown House, my 3 x great Aunt and  If they are looking down , they can be pleased at playing a part in defeating the challenges against me , thereby helping to preserve this historic family home as a family home for posterity in the way that my father intended and specified.

I am now trying to implement the 2013 farm proposal plan , and the series of planning applications flowing from it – see ‘ William and Louise overwhelmed by support….’ and ‘ final go ahead for plans ?’ I have 10 planning approvals since 2013, and I submitted four further applications in 2020 to secure the future of the garden and business centre as a green creative hub , rather than being forced to sell for residential re-development – amazingly , but predictably – despite everything that has gone before, my neighbour and his agent Doug Brown are still referring to the dispute over the road in their letters of objection, and still appear to be refuting my ownership of , and free rights of access along the road . Doug Brown re F_TH_20_1418. Mr. Miles is still in a position of political influence as chairman of the Cliftonville sub branch of the South Thanet Conservative Association. STCA roles AGM 21 Our new conservative ward councillor is still supporting their objections rather than officer recommendations and the 30 letters of support.