Access/easements

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ElectronicFur
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun 6th May, 2018 11:18 pm
Location: Monmouthshire

Re: Access/easements

Post by ElectronicFur » Fri 18th Dec, 2020 12:02 am

It's worth asking the council's roads & highways department if they can clarify.

We had a similar issue with our solicitor when buying, as the land registry showed the start of our drive as not being owned by anyone.

It was going to delay everything, so I ended up just writing to the council and asking myself. They found historical record plans which showed that section formed part of the public highway.

steveb
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat 14th May, 2011 5:23 pm

Re: Access/easements

Post by steveb » Fri 18th Dec, 2020 2:40 pm

Flyfisher wrote:
Thu 17th Dec, 2020 10:51 pm
Imagine if half a dozen neighbours get together and proclaim that they’ve been walking across your garden for the past 20 years - would that automatically create a right of way across your garden? I’d like to think not.
If they were to sign statements of truth attesting the fact - done regularly, without secrecy or permission (I think that is the caveats) , if it were true, I think it would. At obvious risk of going to jail for perjury or whatever the offence committed is if not.

I had to arrange one for our last property where someone bought the land in front leading to 2 cottages front doors (not ours as we were on the end so had side access - but I did the leg work as I was sharing an office with a solicitor at the time). Fortunately the statements collected were truthful - and also backed up by the "blindingly obvious" of there was only one way to get to the front doors that have been there for 200 years.

Flyfisher
Posts: 9872
Joined: Sat 14th Oct, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Access/easements

Post by Flyfisher » Fri 18th Dec, 2020 4:38 pm

steveb wrote:
Fri 18th Dec, 2020 2:40 pm
Flyfisher wrote:
Thu 17th Dec, 2020 10:51 pm
Imagine if half a dozen neighbours get together and proclaim that they’ve been walking across your garden for the past 20 years - would that automatically create a right of way across your garden? I’d like to think not.
If they were to sign statements of truth attesting the fact . . . .
Doesn't that seem a bit one sided though? So if someone was to sign such a declaration you're suggesting that would be sufficient to create a right of way anywhere (within reason). Thus, supposing someone decides that walking across a field is a convenient route to walk their dogs, say, all they have to do is sign a statement that they've been doing it for 20 years to create a public right of way. How could the field owner prove that they hadn't been doing so? It's usually difficult to prove a negative. Thus, such a simple process seems wide open to abuse to me.

I've read somewhere that on application it has to be proven for the 'past' 20 years, a technicality that means if the landowner can prove that the route was blocked for 24 hours in the past year then that would be proof enough that the path could not have been continuously used for the 'past' 20 years. Apparently, Christmas day is a popular time for farmers to chain together the gates to their lanes ete for this very reason. I guess there must be law firms that specialise in such cases.

steveb
Posts: 343
Joined: Sat 14th May, 2011 5:23 pm

Re: Access/easements

Post by steveb » Sat 19th Dec, 2020 10:54 pm

Flyfisher wrote:
Fri 18th Dec, 2020 4:38 pm
I've read somewhere that on application it has to be proven for the 'past' 20 years, a technicality that means if the landowner can prove that the route was blocked for 24 hours in the past year then that would be proof enough that the path could not have been continuously used for the 'past' 20 years. Apparently, Christmas day is a popular time for farmers to chain together the gates to their lanes ete for this very reason. I guess there must be law firms that specialise in such cases.
Yes, I think that is defence , or alternatively you grant permission for whatever is happening as granting permission means you cannot acquire a right. And permission can be revoked at any time. It's all about the evidence.
Flyfisher wrote:
Fri 18th Dec, 2020 4:38 pm
Thus, supposing someone decides that walking across a field is a convenient route to walk their dogs, say, all they have to do is sign a statement that they've been doing it for 20 years to create a public right of way. How could the field owner prove that they hadn't been doing so? It's usually difficult to prove a negative. Thus, such a simple process seems wide open to abuse to me
I think in this case you would not get a public right of way unless it has been used by all and sundry - the person walking the dog would get the right to walk a dog. 20 years access on foot does would grant access with a wheelbarrow or my car for example.

I guess it's all about evidence and motive in the end - if it ever comes to a conflict, who can prove what. who has the most plausible story. or who has the deepest pockets...

so my personal view is that a 20 year statement of truth of historic usage, backed up with an insurance policy and a view that it is blindingly obvious that the only way in and out has to have been used, I would be comfortable. Others may not - or their lenders may not

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