Profits à Prendre

AuthorWilliam Webster/Robert Weatherley
Chapter 4

Profits à Prendre


4.1 A profit is a right to take something off another person’s land.1The thing taken must either be part of the land (i.e. minerals or crops) or the wild animals existing on it (such as a right to hunt and fish), and must at the time of taking be capable of ownership (although the right to take water may exist as an easement, it will not be a profit).2

4.2 A profit sole is where the profit is enjoyed to the exclusion of all others, whereas a profit in common (also known as a right of common or a several profit) is enjoyed with others. Rights of common are registrable under the Commons Registration Act 1965 (CRA 1965), which is intended to be superseded by the provisions of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 (CA 2006) which is only in force in a handful of pioneer areas3and it is only in these areas of England and Wales that the provisions of the 1965 Act, in so far as registration of commons is concerned, no longer apply. Registers of common land (meaning land over which rights of common are exercised) are maintained under the 1965 and 2006 Acts.

4.3 In contrast with easements, a profit can be held in gross and does not have to be appurtenant to the land of the holder (or holders) of the right. It has been held that an appurtenant right of pasturage for a fixed number of animals could be severed from the land to which the right was appurtenant.4Because it is not annexed to land, a profit in gross is an interest in land which may pass under a will or may be sold or leased.

4.4 The CRA 1965 and its associated regulations provided a regime for the registration of common land. Applications for registration had to be made by
3 January 1970.5Registration became final if no objection was lodged or where, despite objection, the validity of the registration was confirmed by a Commons Commissioner or by the court.6The effect of registration of any land as common

1Duke of Sutherland v Heathcote [1892] 1 Ch 475 at 484; Polo Woods Foundation v Shelton-Agar

[2009] EWHC 1361 (Ch); [2010] 1 P & CR 12 at 238.

2Megarry & Wade at 27-055.

3Comprising the registration authorities of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Cornwall

County Council, Devon County Council, County of Herefordshire District Council, Kent County Council, Lancashire County Council and (since 15 December 2014) Cumbria County Council and North Yorkshire County Council.

4Bettison v Langton [2002] 1 AC...

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