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Do Darlington Borough Council know what the covenant related to Crown Street Library said?

The library opened in 1885 following a bequest in the will of Edward Pease.

Although we do not have the original records, it may well have been the case that the property was subject to a restrictive covenant. We understand that the deeds and documents were lost in or about March 1974, most probably during local government reorganisation with Durham County Council.

In 1983 statutory declaration was made by a former Assistant Borough Solicitor about the loss of deeds that occurred in 1974. This indicated that in 1983 the property was thought to be subject to a restrictive covenant that it should be ‘used for purposes of a public library forever. 

Land Registry records show the Council as the freehold owner, but there is reference made to lost deeds and documents and that restrictive covenants imposed before 9 September 2010 are still enforceable.

If there is a restrictive covenant concerning the Crown Street Building this does not prevent the library service from relocating to another building. It could however restrict the future use of Crown Street although there are steps that can be taken to have any restrictive covenant discharged.

A copy of the Statutory Declaration is available on the relateted proposal pages.

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