A BUSINESSMAN who lays claim to a number of ancient lordships is making a fresh attempt to sell a piece of common land.

On Thursday, December 6, the 8.5-acre site alongside the River Elwy in St Asaph will go under the hammer at an auction in Cardiff.

About 12 months ago the lot was withdrawn from sale at the last minute by auctioneer Paul Fosh, who said a number of parties had shown an interest in it.

The sale comprises the site known locally as The Common and a 1.5-acre strip on the opposite side of the river.

It is understood to be owned by the Trelleck Estate Limited, the company owned by South Wales businessman Mark Roberts, who has bought over 60 ancient manorial titles. Many of them include rights to small plots of land, some of which are registered as common land.

Details of next week’s sale are exactly the same as that 12 months ago – with a 50 per cent share having a guide price of £10,000. The notice states: “Advised freehold – to be verified by solicitor”.

Prior to the 2017 auction St Asaph City Council, which cuts the grass and maintains the site, sought legal advice and the guidance given was that none of the parties had a right to sell it off as it had been recognized as common land for generations.

The mayor, Cllr Colin Hardie, said on Tuesday, November 27 that the authority was unaware that it was once again being offered for sale.

At one stage the council considered whether to put in an offer, but Cllr Hardie said they had been advised against it.

“There are so many restrictions on it that there would be no advantage in owning it. Whoever buys it will effectively have a share of nothing,” he said.

Marcher Lords were appointed by kings of E to guard the Welsh-English border but in 2008 the High Court ruled that the Laws in Wales Act 1535 had abolished the franchise completely and that Mr Roberts had no such status.

“Despite that he keeps insisting on using the title,” said Cllr Hardie.