Porthleven Town Council has staked its legal claim to the Moors playing field after the Porthleven Harbour and Dock Company said it held restrictive covenants over use of the land.

The dock company owner Trevor Osborne had disputed claims by the council that it was the legal trustee of the land, instead asserting that his own business had "the benefit of the restrictive covenants and also rights of access over the property."

Last month a letter from Mr Osborne was read out at a meeting of the town council, informing members that a “caution” had been lodged with the Land Registry regarding the playing field, and saying councillors had to provide proof of their ownership.

The council has long claimed a covenant on the playing fields prevent it or any part being let or gifted, or having any permanent structure built on it unless for sport, which was most recently cited during an application by Porthleven Town Band to build a new hall on part of the site.

At a meeting on Thursday, mayor Andrew Wallis said the council's solicitors had looked into the matter and they would now be contacting the Harbour and Dock Company to say "that we are the owners of the Moors recreation ground and it's 100 per cent proved that we do own it."

He stated that the land originally donated to the people of Porthleven in 1935, and a compulsory purchase followed in 1952, by Helston Borough Council. Possession was transferred to Kerrier District Council when that body took over from the borough, and in 1985 the land was given to the newly independent Porthleven Town Council under the Local Government Act.

Asked whether the letter from the solicitor was the end of the matter or whether Mr Osborne could contest it, Mr Wallis replied: "The lawyer has said 'I don't know where they could go with it."

He noted that although there the council will have had to pay for the solicitor's services, it will have been small compared to going to court over the issue.

Mr Osborne told the Packet that the council still wasn't listed as the Moors' owners at the land registry, and said: "I hope that the council make haste to rectify that."

He added that his main concern was still the issue of covenants on the land and the uses to which it could be put, and said: "I would like to see the title which the council allege they have, in order to understand if the statements have any legality at all.

"We do have the benefit of covenants to the land, but I don't know whether any other party would have the benefit of the covenants apart from the Harbour and Dock Company."

Asked what covenants the company held, he said: "There are restrictions, very small things. I can't remember them over the telephone. We did register our covenants, it's only normal housekeeping, looking after the estate."