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Dispute over alleyway between pub and town hall likened to Obama birth certificate conspiracy

PUBLISHED: 08:11 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:43 27 February 2019

Harvey Woodyatt, owner and landlord at the Kings Arms in Watton, who is an ownership dispute with the town council over an alleyway. Picture: Conor Matchett

Harvey Woodyatt, owner and landlord at the Kings Arms in Watton, who is an ownership dispute with the town council over an alleyway. Picture: Conor Matchett

Archant

A pub landlord has likened a dispute over an alleyway to the conspiracy theory over Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

The alleyway, between Wayland Hall and the Kings Arms, which is at the centre of the dispute. Picture: Conor MatchettThe alleyway, between Wayland Hall and the Kings Arms, which is at the centre of the dispute. Picture: Conor Matchett

It came as he challenged Watton Town Council to prove it owned an alleyway leading to the Kings Arms pub following an ownership dispute.

The council had claimed the boundary showed the alleyway belonged to the authority.

However, Harvey Woodyatt, landlord and owner at the King’s Arms pub on Middle Street in Watton, claimed both the Land Registry and the Ordnance Survey had seen deeds which showed the alleyway belonged to the pub.

The alleyway, which runs between Wayland Hall and the pub, is closed off by a lockable door controlled by the pub, with no doors leading to Wayland Hall.

The alleyway, between Wayland Hall and the Kings Arms, which is at the centre of the dispute. Picture: Conor MatchettThe alleyway, between Wayland Hall and the Kings Arms, which is at the centre of the dispute. Picture: Conor Matchett

During the town council meeting on Tuesday, February 26, councillors clashed with Mr Woodyatt over his refusal to show the deeds proving the ownership to the council.

Several councillors claimed the dispute would be considered closed if Mr Woodyatt provided the documents to the council.

However, Mr Woodyatt refused, claiming councillors would not believe it even if the documents were put in front of them.

He also likened the deeds to former US president Barack Obama’s birth certificate which was the subject of conspiracy theories over its authenticity during his presidency.

During the meeting Mr Woodyatt said: “We have the deeds and the Land Registry and Ordnance Survey have seen them.

“They have seen all the paperwork and it is a bit like Obama’s birth certificate and if I bring it here someone will say it is a forgery.”

Mr Woodyatt also offered to pay the £40 fee the council would have to pay to challenge the ownership, saying it would put the issue to bed.

Councillor Stan Hebborn said the fact the ownership of the alleyway seemed ambiguous was enough to warrant a challenge.

He said: “We have to get the absolute answer once and for all and we don’t want to be the council that gives away public land without being sure.”

Councillors resolved to challenge the registration of the alleyway and said a decision to instruct a solicitor would be made at the next meeting.

Mayor Tina Kiddell said she was against the proposal.

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