A tricky boundary discussion

A tricky boundary discussion

Postby Sophieg » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:34 am

Of course all boundary discussions are tricky and I am joining this forum in the hope that someone will be able to advise.


The owners of my estate of which I am one noticed building work going on one day by accident,
on a lane which sits on the other side of a boundary fence on the side of the estate.
Developers have dug and cleared right up to our fence. They have cleared all of the rambling flora fauna and trees, that were on the other side of the fence, thereby exposing our fence which was quite inaccessible before to trespassers. They have cut back our tree branches and roots (all trees on our side of the fence are protected) without informing us. They were partway through building a wooden fence parallel tour wire fence when I informed the planning enforcement office that this was being done without our permission who then asked them to take it down immediately.

When confronted, the response of one manager on behalf of the developers was along the lines of, "We are sorry we haven't informed you of our work, what can we do ."
Unfortunately, what is done is done. They have cleared a very beautiful lane of its greenery.

I asked them about a party wall agreement which I am not sure is relevant but felt that surely if they were digging this close to our fence they should have consulted us.
The problem is they do not own the land that they are digging on, nor indeed do the council.
The lane is a private road but has been maintained somewhat by the council as they as are we one of the frontages on the lane. There is a refuse tip at the other end of the mile long lane. The council may adopt the road in the future.

We are trying to negotiate with these developers as they have removed our security, our greenery and our maintenance free boundary.
We have also realised when looking at plans that the fence did not actually mark our boundary as when our estate was developed in 1999 the fence was erected a few feet within the original boundary.
There were concrete posts along the original boundary which the developers have removed and dug beyond.
Advice please.
What are our rights?
Sophieg
 
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby span » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:33 am

Reclaim to the fullest extent of your property. Erect your own secure boundary feature.
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby arborlad » Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:50 am

Sophieg wrote:We have also realised when looking at plans that the fence did not actually mark our boundary as when our estate was developed in 1999 the fence was erected a few feet within the original boundary.
There were concrete posts along the original boundary which the developers have removed and dug beyond.
Advice please.
What are our rights?



The original developer was greatly at fault for not doing things correctly (assuming your assumption is correct) in 1999 and the subsequent purchasers for not rectifying the mistake in a timely manner.




They were partway through building a wooden fence parallel tour wire fence when I informed the planning enforcement office that this was being done without our permission who then asked them to take it down immediately.




Unless there is something we are unaware of, the enforcement officer has exceeded their authority, only the landowner could've prevented that.




Developers have dug and cleared right up to our fence. They have cleared all of the rambling flora fauna and trees, that were on the other side of the fence, thereby exposing our fence which was quite inaccessible before to trespassers.



Unless the site is a SSSI or some other special protection, it's hard to see any wrongdoing here - different if it had happened a month ago. Have they done any substantial excavation?

Are there any planning applications connected with this lane or any land it connects with?
arborlad

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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:27 pm

Hi Sophieg,

What are our rights?

to reasonably enjoy your land (ie without causing a nuisance to those nearby).

leave your neighbour to reasonably enjoy his land - from all you've shared he has done nothing unlawful, illegal or uncivil.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby span » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:33 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Sophieg,

What are our rights?

to reasonably enjoy your land (ie without causing a nuisance to those nearby).

leave your neighbour to reasonably enjoy his land - from all you've shared he has done nothing unlawful, illegal or uncivil.

Kind regards, Mac


Apart from transgressing a poorly indicated boundary and removing said boundary markers and landscaping within said boundary on property not belonging to them.

Now the OP has to expel them from the property, locate its boundary and identify same with wall, fence, w'ev.
Last edited by span on Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby arborlad » Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:35 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Sophieg,

What are our rights?

to reasonably enjoy your land (ie without causing a nuisance to those nearby).

leave your neighbour to reasonably enjoy his land - from all you've shared he has done nothing unlawful, illegal or uncivil.

Kind regards, Mac



.............apart from removing roots and branches of protected trees.
arborlad

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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:06 pm

arborlad wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Sophieg,

What are our rights?

to reasonably enjoy your land (ie without causing a nuisance to those nearby).

leave your neighbour to reasonably enjoy his land - from all you've shared he has done nothing unlawful, illegal or uncivil.

Kind regards, Mac



.............apart from removing roots and branches of protected trees.

missed that bit - I need a lie down :oops:
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby arborlad » Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:07 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:
arborlad wrote:
MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Sophieg,

What are our rights?

to reasonably enjoy your land (ie without causing a nuisance to those nearby).

leave your neighbour to reasonably enjoy his land - from all you've shared he has done nothing unlawful, illegal or uncivil.

Kind regards, Mac



.............apart from removing roots and branches of protected trees.

missed that bit - I need a lie down :oops:



..............and this bit - not his land.
arborlad

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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby Sophieg » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:26 pm

Thanks all :D

Yes, just to clarify it is not the neighbours land in any shape or form. It is not even council land.

The developers are building houses (these houses will sell for £1m each)at the bottom of the lane and wanted to build a pavement and in their eyes improve the look of the lane that led to their houses as they did not like the brambles and blackberry bushes growing wild. These bushes together with the fence provided us with a secure and maintenance free boundary. They have cut through the roots of our beautiful protected trees. Our boundary is 400 metres in length.

We are going to ask them to replace the fence at the original boundary position and replant mature native species , i.e. hawthorn, blackberry and then ask them to continue to maintain until the council adopt the lane.
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:37 pm

Hi,

It is an endorsable offence to drive a motor vehicle onto private property, for more than 15 yards, except to park. The 15 yards is measured from the edge of the public highway. The police should be interested. Driving to park, and parking, within the 15 yards is not criminal, bur is a civil matter between the owner of the land, and the driver.

If they are building an estate of £1,000,000 houses, I would be surprised if their architect (Project Manager?) was not aware of the legitimacy of what was going on.

The architect will have declared what trees will be removed. I'm guessing that any TPO trees will need to be replaced with trees of a similar maturity. Expensive! Maybe you can negotiate what type of trees will be planted and where. If the developers are clever, maybe they can use this to everybody's mutual advantage .... Walnut Drive? :twisted:

Er ... was there any Japanese Knotweed growing in the briar patch? It must not be removed without a licence.

What is done, is done. Try to turn it to your advantage ... move fences, plant the above mentioned trees where you want them. Er .... rear vehicle access onto the new road?

John W
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby Sophieg » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:42 pm

Thank-you jonahinoz and all,
You are right about several things
The developers did employ a tree expert in which they produced a report and apparent carefully chose which trees should and shouldn't be removed. This was done in conjunction with the council.

I forgot to mention the reason that the planning permission was granted in the first place on greenbelt is because it comes with the building of a new special needs school next to the houses . I think this is the new wau that developers access planning permission.

So, yes it is ineveryones interest that this rambling country lane looks presentable. The widening of the lane was required to create two lanes and a pavement added for pedestrians.

I have no real objection to the houses or the school as they are at the bottom of the lane and we are at the top. The lane is a mile long.
It is just that when they widened the road and created the pavement they did not contact us but just removed everything and dug so close to the fence that it is unstable in places and as I said cut through tree roots unnecessarily.
And if either the developers or council owned the land it would be ok but they don't. Not only that they have removed the concrete posts which showed our original boundary, and by digging upto the fence which was within the original boundary have dug on our land (all be it possibly a fairly thin strip )and cut through tree roots which had every right to be there.Thank goodness for google maps.

The planning application for the widening of the road says that all landowners have or should be contacted by the developers.
All landowners except us have been contacted and have made "deals" , ranging from having their land cleared to having their boundaries replanted with expensive laurels flown in would you believe it ....rear vehicle access.

Would you advise solicitor or surveyor or negotiate directly.
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby jonahinoz » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:01 am

It is just ...... they did not contact us

Hi Sophie,

What do you mean by "us"? Just you? Or you and your neighbours?

If just you ... or maybe your neighbours too ... could there be a reason for them "forgetting" to tell you what they were going to do? Sometimes it is easier to compensate for a faite acompli, that to ask permission.

I suspect that you have accepted that you ain't going to get your land back (fighting it in the courts could bankrupt you, and might delay the development), so it is better that you benefit rather than the lawyers. Looking at it pragmatically, you haven't lost anything that you were using, maybe didn't even know that you owned, apart from a view (Have I got that right?)

Me? I would decide what I wanted to happen next ... a new fence (good quality), boundary change accurately documented (consult your lender if you have a mortgage), the right to rear vehicular access (even if you don't want it, a potential buyer might), a tree surgeon's report on your damaged trees (replacements if necessary), OPP for any future development in your rear garden (your garden will be backing onto an adopted road), maybe a vehicle access into/upto your garden while they are laying the road, has your house got all mains services (if not, will the new houses have services you would like, including hi-tech stuff), street lamps positioned to suit you (in line with your side boundaries). Etc. Some of the above might benefit you, with little or no expense to the developer.

Then go and ask the developers what they are offering. Keep it friendly if you can, that way you can both win.

Special Needs School? That's a new one on me. It used to be supermarkets offering to fund parks.

I was at a friends birthday party, discussing doing up old houses, in particular - 9" x 2" timber. The chairman of the LA Planning Committee walked in ...

"And here's the plank in question!" I said (Plankton being a low form of life) Well ... I thought it was funny.

He was somewhat offended, being unable to accept the concept that friends can insult each other without being offensive.

Whatever, later in the evening, when we were friends again, he explained that the LA could not afford to fight appeals against refusing PP to big, national firms, like supermarkets, so best to do a deal (Section 52 Agreement?) get what they could in return for not rejecting their planning application.

John W
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby Sophieg » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:51 am

Thanks,
Yes you have my situation accurately.They have decide to act first, ask questions later. And you are right it si not the lost land, it is the view of the property from the outside, and hence the value that has been potentially lost. The most important issues to us are the removal of the security and the boundary that will require maintenance. When it was covered it was maintenance free.
Because the boundary is a significant length.

The landowner opposite did catch them before they did the dirty deed and cost them a fortune , I am told by the local guys working on the ground. He has asked for long distances of beautiful full grown laurel flown in in from Holland, together with new drive entrances, natural willow fences in part of the boundary and more etc.....

When I say We I mean 12 residents. So the estate I refer to belongs to 12 people, of which I am one. It is is 6 acre plot with only 12 reasonably sized properties which means there is lots of land. The site is a conservation site and each resident owns an equal share of the freehold of the land. Hence any costs will be split by 12.

The boundary in question is on the side of our land as opposed to the rear but the right to access is still a valid suggestion.

Glad that your chairman "friend" found his sense of humour. Yes this is the new wave of planning :- greenbelt in exchange for considerable schools.


We are meeting them next week, so I just wanted to get an idea of what to ask for....so your suggestions are totally valid.
But also wasn't sure whether some of it should be handled legally as I don't want them to double cross me.
I was thinking of getting a surveyor but there are so many to choose from and do they all specialise in boundaries??
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby mugwump » Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:21 am

TBH With a list of demands/expectations that John has suggested I would expect the response to be 'See you in court' as it could end up as the cheaper option
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Re: A tricky boundary discussion

Postby MacadamB53 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:39 pm

Hi Sophieg,

trees aside, the work done on the lane is no less than the actual landowner could have done.

in which case you'd have to accept you'd have no recourse - agreed?

Kind regards, Mac
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