Duchy Land for Affordable Homes in Cornwall

The Deputy Prime Minister has made an arrangement with the Crown Estate for it to provide low rents and affordable housing. (www.crownestate.co.uk). This does not apply to Cornwall. Although the Crown Estate has no holdings in Cornwall, no corresponding arrangement has been made by the Deputy Prime Minister with the Duchy of Cornwall the Crown Estate counterpart for Cornwall.

Legal privileges and exemptions from planning laws and compulsory purchase under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, s.111 represent a continuation of centuries of privilege for Duke of Cornwall to profit from former Crown land, minerals and foreshore in Cornwall so that English people can be relieved of paying taxes to provide an income for the heir to the throne. It is time for official bias and discrimination in official decisions affecting Cornwall to be terminated as an abuse of the principle of equality before the law.

Duchy of Cornwall responsibilities to the Cornish community must be accepted by donating suitable Duchy land and cooperating with local councils in Cornwall to provide affordable housing for local people.

The English Partnerships Annual Report 2005 reveals: "Ensuring that surplus public sector land is used to support wider Government objectives". The objective of affordable homes would be well served by using Duchy land since, the Duchy of Cornwall has in fact been a state subsidised part of the public sector for over six centuries on account of the fact that its role in Cornwall is to maximises profits so that English people will not be required to pay taxes to maintain the heir to the throne. This is substantiated by other researchers: "What is invidious about the position of the Duchy is its compromising of the original principle of English constitutional law, that the Monarch should be dependent on Parliament for finance. It has been enabled to grow to its present size courtesy of tax breaks and special privileges." (Who Owns Britain, p. 91, Kevin Cahill, Canongate, Edinburgh, 2002).

With the Duchy of Cornwall classified as 'private', the integrity of the English legal system is further compromised by Acts of Parliament for 'private' profit purposes. These purposes enable the Duchy; "to control or intervene in (legal) proceedings affecting its rights, property and profits? [Crown Proceedings Act 1947 s.40 (2g)] . Proceedings are likely to include planning proceedings.

In 1955 the Committee on Crown Land (Cmd 9483 p.15) revealed that long ago, "Parliament, reluctant to raise taxes, insisted that the Monarch should live of his own". The deal was struck. The Crown could have Cornwall as long as Members were not expected to tax constituents to support the heir to the throne.

Duchy estates in England exist essentially on account of the profits of the Cornish tin mining industry and are administered under Crown Estate rules for public benefit. (Duchy Annual Accounts 2003, funding for Regeneration, Herewood Park, Hereford, England). In Cornwall, the Duchy of Cornwall profits from intestate estates, bankrupt companies, planning exemptions, mineral rights and foreshore, etc. The Crown Estate is not permitted to invest in Cornwall. In contrast, the rules permit Duchy profits made in Cornwall to be invested outside Cornwall.

Centuries of statutory "rights, property and profits" for the Duchy of Cornwall has led to imposed economic and cultural dependency and European Objective One for Cornwall. Predictably, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee helped to conceal possible human rights abuses by accepting the refusal to produce a list of Duchy properties by the Secretary to the Duchy. (February 2005).
The Supreme Court Act 1981, s.120, permits the acquisition of assets from bankruptcy cases in Cornwall for the 'private' Duchy of Cornwall estate. This and many other special Acts and immunities guarantee top priority treatment by all departments of state to secure profits for the Duke and Duchy of Cornwall and preserve its tax saving role for English people. This arrangement accounts for the failure of the English authorities to recognise the right of the Cornish to exist in their own land as a national minority of pre-England origins and Celtic ethnicity.

The most serious democratic deficit is the failure to introduce a statutory guarantee of equality before the law into English law. This omission has facilitated official decisions which provide the Duchy of Cornwall with the inequalities of many privileges, exemptions and immunities from English law

The English feudal system in Cornwall is denying Cornish people the basic human right to exist as an indigenous Celtic minority of Britain and own a home in their own land. Cornish people are denied equality of cultural funding and exclusion from the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, even though, the March 2006 edition of the National Geographic Magazine confirms the well known fact that Cornwall is "an area of Celtic culture".

The Duchy of Cornwall is a state aided monopoly called a 'private' estate to avoid public accountability about its role in Cornwall. When attending international human rights conferences, do Ministers of the Crown and the BBC proudly inform the citizens of the world about the benefits of ignoring equality before the law to acquire the foreshore, land and minerals of the Cornish indigenous national minority, for the sole benefit of the Duke of Cornwall, so as to avoid taxing the English national majority to provide an income for the heir to the throne?

Cornwall needs a modern Magna Charta to include a statutory guarantee of equality before the law in English law to prevent bias and discrimination; dispossession of lands; (intestates, mineral rights and the Stannaries) castles; (Tintagel), liberties; and rights to recover land and property claimed by the Duchy to provide affordable housing for local people and end the speculative building of, and investment in, second homes which are destroying low wage Cornish communities.

It is not anti-monarchy to expose the government as using the monarchy to promote English nationalism in Cornwall. The Constitution of the Swedish Monarchy, Chapter 1.9; proves that it is possible to provide constitutional authority for officials to act with integrity to eliminate the abuse of power wherever it may occur, it declares:- "Courts, public authorities and others performing functions within the public administration shall observe in their work the equality of all persons before the law and shall maintain objectivity and impartiality".

The case for Cornwall, in respect of alleged violations of the European Convention of Human Rights, Articles 6, (independent and impartial courts); 8, (respect family life); 10, (freedom of expression); 13, (violations by officials); 14 with Protocol 12, (discrimination on the grounds of association with a national minority, property, birth or other status); 17, (the official destruction of rights); Protocol 1 Article 1, (property rights) with 385 supporting documents, has been submitted by members of the Cornish Stannary Parliament to the European Court of Human Rights and on the 13th April 2006 the Court stated that it: "will deal with the case as soon as practicable".

(A CD with the full text sent to the Human Rights Court is available for a donation).

The Cornish Stannary Parliament, Camborne, TR14 0JG

Telephone:- 01209-710938


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