Abandoned back alley.

Abandoned back alley.

Postby Fiddlesticks » Mon May 08, 2017 5:11 pm

Hi,

The alley that runs behind our house has been abandoned by the council, having a large sycamore tree (complete with TPO) and some new houses blocking off one end, and a private fence from my neighbors a few houses down blocking off the other. Behind is an old brick-built workshop, with no guttering, windows or anything overhanging the alley. The space directly behind my house is about 2m * 6m.

Rather than doing what my neighbors have done and chucking my old rubbish in there, I thought it might be an idea to adopt it and build a wooden shed/summer house.

As far as I can see, my options are.

1. Do nothing (seems like a waste).
2. "Adopt" it quietly (seems like a risk, not sure of legal position).
3. Approach the council with a view to buying (seems like an expense, and might get stiffed with the TPO tree at one end).
4. Something else...?

Can anyone advise on the pros and cons of any of the above courses of action?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Collaborate » Mon May 08, 2017 11:01 pm

1. I agree
2. You can't adopt it. You're not the local authority(!)
3. They won't be bothered, and they may not own it anyway.
4. You could enclose it. However it's 99.9% likely your neighbours have a right of way over it, so at some point they may seek to enforce that. Or they may not. It's up to you if you take that risk. On the 0.1% chance there are no ROWs over it, after 12 years you will be able to register adverse possession at the Land Registry.
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby arborlad » Tue May 09, 2017 6:44 am

Fiddlesticks wrote:Hi,

The alley that runs behind our house has been abandoned by the council, .




You may already own it, have a search at Land registry: https://www.gov.uk/search-property-info ... d-registry
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Fiddlesticks » Sun May 14, 2017 10:44 am

Thanks,
No, we don't own it. Bought the house fairly recently and the boundaries are well defined on the plans.
I think it just comes down to how we feel about developing it, and whether it will raise any objections from the neighbours (doubtful).
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby jdfi » Sun May 14, 2017 4:36 pm

Are we saying that the old brick-built workshop is up for grabs?
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Fiddlesticks » Sun May 14, 2017 4:40 pm

No, just the alley that is between us. Our garden backs onto the alley. The other side of the alley is the back wall of the workshop.
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun May 14, 2017 5:00 pm

Hi Fiddlesticks,

where does/did the alley lead to? at either end please.

do any of the properties which back on to the alley come with any rights over that land? if you've not yet properly checked this out then I recommend you do before entertaining any ideas about "adopting" any of it.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Fiddlesticks » Sun May 14, 2017 5:22 pm

It's about 8 houses long. Fenced off at the far end by a homeowner. At our end it terminates with a large sycamore (TPO), then a fence to some new build houses (5-6 years old I guess).

When we bought the house the previous occupant had planted a couple of small trees in it with a view to taking it over.

How do I check? Just enquire at the LR ?
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun May 14, 2017 7:27 pm

Fiddlesticks wrote:It's about 8 houses long. Fenced off at the far end by a homeowner. At our end it terminates with a large sycamore (TPO), then a fence to some new build houses (5-6 years old I guess).

When we bought the house the previous occupant had planted a couple of small trees in it with a view to taking it over.

How do I check? Just enquire at the LR ?
that's where it leads to today but where did it originally lead to - not a fence I presume...

submit a SIM request (Search of the Index Map) to HMLR with the relevant land marked out on a plan and they'll send you a list of the title numbers for any registered properties found in the marked area.

if there are any you can then pay £3 a pop for a copy of their title plans and £3 a pop for their title register entries.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Fiddlesticks » Sun May 14, 2017 8:34 pm

Thanks will do. Originally it just ran the length of the street and back out to the main road, but the tree and the new houses blocked it off years ago.
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby arborlad » Mon May 15, 2017 6:30 am

Fiddlesticks wrote:It's about 8 houses long. Fenced off at the far end by a homeowner. At our end it terminates with a large sycamore (TPO), then a fence to some new build houses (5-6 years old I guess).




It seems highly likely that when your houses were first built they all had rear access via that alleyway - and still do. This is something that your solicitor should have highlighted at the time of purchase.
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Collaborate » Mon May 15, 2017 7:55 am

MacadamB53 wrote:
Fiddlesticks wrote:It's about 8 houses long. Fenced off at the far end by a homeowner. At our end it terminates with a large sycamore (TPO), then a fence to some new build houses (5-6 years old I guess).

When we bought the house the previous occupant had planted a couple of small trees in it with a view to taking it over.

How do I check? Just enquire at the LR ?
that's where it leads to today but where did it originally lead to - not a fence I presume...

submit a SIM request (Search of the Index Map) to HMLR with the relevant land marked out on a plan and they'll send you a list of the title numbers for any registered properties found in the marked area.

if there are any you can then pay £3 a pop for a copy of their title plans and £3 a pop for their title register entries.

Kind regards, Mac


No need to do a SIM. Log on to the LR portal (create an account first) and put in the addresses concerned. For £3 you get the title pages, and for an extra £3 you get the title plans.

Here's the link. http://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0C7IdFQG9k5Tz/
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Fiddlesticks » Mon May 15, 2017 12:30 pm

I'm not sure about that. It's a couple of feet lower than our gardens, and no obvious gateways in any of the old Victorian back garden walls on our side.

I'll have a copy of the plans from when we bought the house. From memory it just shows as a our boundary then an empty strip.

Access won't be an issue for my neighbours as we're the last house before the dead end.

Will have to consider the workshop behind though, if he needs access to point his wall or fix his roof.
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby Collaborate » Mon May 15, 2017 6:41 pm

Fiddlesticks wrote:I'm not sure about that. It's a couple of feet lower than our gardens, and no obvious gateways in any of the old Victorian back garden walls on our side.

I'll have a copy of the plans from when we bought the house. From memory it just shows as a our boundary then an empty strip.

Access won't be an issue for my neighbours as we're the last house before the dead end.

Will have to consider the workshop behind though, if he needs access to point his wall or fix his roof.


the general idea is that you get the titles and plans for all properties adjoining the alley. Only that way can you see who, if anyone, owns it or has rights of access over it.
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Re: Abandoned back alley.

Postby arborlad » Mon May 15, 2017 6:46 pm

Fiddlesticks wrote:I'm not sure about that. It's a couple of feet lower than our gardens, and no obvious gateways in any of the old Victorian back garden walls on our side.




In that case I think we can discount the idea that you have a Right of Way passing over that land.
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