Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:59 am

mr sheen the statement in my deeds was posted 12.08 June 6
I am happy to let go on this now, the important issue as I see it is the view that reducing 12ft to 3.5m is not substantial and therefore not a factor to be included when I next object to the expected revised planning application. However including the fire service width might be helpful
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Wed Jun 14, 2017 8:53 am

Folks, as expected the developer has submitted a new application which appeasr to show a 5m adoptable access road/ passageway. This will involve shaving a metre off the end house (135) and rebuilding the gable wall. No mention is made of pedestrian access though.
To be discussed with the neighbours
Thank you again for your valued inputs
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:34 am

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Hi, folks, it looks as though this is not yet dead and I would value your input on my new findings. Perhaps we should avoid going off subject this time although I did find it interesting. Firstly can I effectively start again with a summary of the overall situation and a quick progress report. I hope that I have been able to upload a diagram of the location and that this will help.
A local developer has purchased a property which is registered under a single title. The title consists of 3 separable properties, no.s 131 and 135 which are buildings on the main road separated by a passageway approx. 50m long and 3.5m at its narrowest point. This passageway leads to the third property; a disused builders yard which runs over the back of no. 131 and no.s 135-143 there being a 12foot gap between the yard and the rear of no.s 135-141. (i.e. there is an inverted L shaped access to the rear of a no. of properties). Only this L shaped access is not registered and has 2 cautions on it, one claiming ownership. It is clear that a few years ago there were 3 separate titles amalgamated when part of the builders yard (it was larger once) was developed approx. 20 years ago.
The develop bought the plot with planning permission (approved by all) to build 12 properties on the builders yard, demolishing no. 135 to provide a two way adoptable road and pavement.
The first thing the developer did was to request modification of the housing layout, reducing the access width to a private 4,5m road, thereby keeping no. 135 albeit shaving 1m off it its width. This application was rejected due to lack of pedestrian safety with a suggestion that he re-submit it with a pavement.
I opened this discussion on the basis that a pavement would reduce the width of my 12foot right to pass and repass where, with your excellent input I decided that losing an inch or two would not impress a judge.
As expected a new planning application was duly made, the same as the previous rejected one but with the words 'private road' replaced with 'adopted road' with no mention of the road in the text. The planning officer tells me that he is therefore only applying to change the contents of the builders yard leaving the access until later. We are very unhappy with this since it seems so much more sensible to progress the development as one entity and build the wider access first otherwise we will have to endure many months of sharing the access with the builders cars, vans and lorries. The developer has fenced off the minor road exit and pans to build 3 houses over it. He has started work clearing the site and it is already makes the minor road exit inaccessible to other than a tank.
However I have just realised that the deeds of the title only permit site entry from the main road (the land tinted pink has the following rights.....). Indeed, when you open your eyes there is a 2m arrow at the entry to the passageway and a no entry sign on the builders yard gate. For 80+ years the site has been exited at the far end of the yard onto a minor road, now not possible without restorative work.
I have two questions
1.Am I better placed to consider an injunction because of the one way issue or are there other actions
2. It was the developer's verbal understanding that we would use the minor road exit to access our properties whilst the passageway was modified, now not possible. Where do we stand on this?
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby mr sheen » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:12 am

People are expected to be reasonable and flexible for short term issues.
If your right of way is blocked, you could consider approaching the developer to reach a reasonable interim arrangement and if that is not forthcoming you could consider applying for an injunction but this is Inadvisable in your case since your legal case is weak and based on only minimal interference. Injunctions are very expensive and you will be liable for their costs if you lose. You are expected to seek resolution between parties before seeking the assistance of the courts.

If you can continue to pass and repass you will be unlikely to succeed in getting an injunction nd hence your costs will be substantial to no avail.

When a development is being planned, health and safety risk assessments are carried out and traffic plans/site plans/access etc etc are developed that keep risks to everyone to a minimum and this may be why a some systems have been employed on site and to access the site. A one-way system on a building site is a common safety feature.

If the safety measures they have engaged severely negatively impact on your rights, then see the developer. However the developer has a primary responsibility to create an environment where the risks are as low as possible for all concerned and it is reasonable to do this and for others to understand that the safety of people is a priority. A court would also except neighbours to be reasonable in wanting to protect people from hazards and to be reasonable in making reasonable temporary adjustments for the period of the works. It is reasonable for everyone to want to avoid injury to other people and hence to allow for modifications to prevent risk.

People carrying out development can do it in conjunction with the relevant authorities in whatever order they feel is appropriate. Neighbours can't dictate based on things they believe are logical or that they are unhappy with.

If they are not carrying out development in accordance with the plans, then contact the LPA.
If your access rights have been substantially interfered with speak to the developer who will probably come up with a suitable alternative for you for the duration of the works.
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:47 am

Thank you Mr Sheen. Firstly I totally agree with you, if we can pass and repass there will be no problem and this is the only reason to raise the issue. We will be objecting to this application since it separates the development of the site from the access and seeks to develop the site beforehand. Vice versa would be OK and should solve all issues, it is that the developer wishes to keep the property that needs to be demolished to achieve this and make an extra £200,000 profit.

But to be clear, and I will respect your answer, you are saying that even though the deeds of the property state that the builders yard can only be accessed from the main road ( a right purchased in 1932), that there is signage in existence to support this and there has only been one way traffic for 85 years is a poor reason to seek an injunction?

The developer has already cut off the verbally agreed alternative route for us to access the rear of our properties. He is abusive if you approach him and he is THE expert on all things to do with development. We have had the police out twice to stop him pulling down trees full of nesting birds. He calls the RSPB a load of ********** and brought in his own expert (who agreed there were nesting birds). The developer basically consists of this one man and a family group of investors.

Health and safety might be a way to go. Last week there was an enormous excavator perched on top of a 100ft long and 20ft high mountain of soil last week, gently swinging forwards and backwards at the rear of our properties the other day (they are excavating the site and piling up the debris in a big pile next to our boundary fence). He has already knocked a wall down onto the roof of 133. He is not a nice man. It is clear that his main responsibility is to make as much money as he can out of the development.
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby mr sheen » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:15 pm

You seem to be looking for any way to aggravate this development. What are your motives? What difference does it make to you? Presumably you have a home. The developer is creating more homes for other people and since he is running a business as oppose to a charity, building the homes has to bring in a profit. So yes his purpose is to make as much money out of this development as he can....What is your problem with this?

Your only options are the LPA, negotiation with the developer or to try legal action. Legal action is a risky choice for you and before embarking on a costly legal route you need to get an objective assessment of your legal position since the details here suggest you may be wasting your money.

The health &safety of the site is the developers responsibility and nothing to do with you. It is clear that some risk assessment has been carried out and some risk reduction has taken place so the developer is managing H&S on site.
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:55 pm

Mr Sheen this time I completely disagree with you. All concerned are happy that a piece of wasteland is being developed and no-one objected to the planning permission granted which included replacing our narrow 50m long access with a two way road and pavement. However the developer has been hostile at all times, has blocked the alternative access to our properties that we were happy to use whilst the passageway is developed and is actively looking at ways to keep the passageway narrow. It looks as though the only way we can work with him is by being obstructive.

We would all be delighted for him to work within the permission already granted, re-design the houses as he sees fit (replacing a terrace of 3 with a semi and a detached will yield more good profit, restricting our access long term is bad profit). We just want to keep vehicular access to our properties as near as it is today, nothing more.

But I do have a concern with an excavator wobbling 20 ft up a few feet away from where I drive my car, where workmen are cutting up asbestos with a strong wind in our direction, with the thought that he could accidently knock down another wall onto my car parked inside my property
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:26 pm

Hi MikeJG,

workmen are cutting up asbestos

removing existing? or are you alleging they're installing new?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:00 pm

Mac, no a couple of weeks ago a few men just turned up and started to tear down the large storage units on the one side of the builders yard. These were asbestos roofed. At the same time they accidently knocked down part of a 20ft wall onto the roof of a single storey building.

I was really trying to make the point that as much as we would like to, the developer is not the sort of person to reason with. I think this makes us very wary, looking for opportunities to slow him down. It took police presence to stop them pulling bird nesting trees down, he wouldn't listen to the RSPB saying that he was not allowed to.

Because he is now seeking planning permission to build re-designed houses (no issues) and is ignoring the access we are wary that he will use the cast in concrete housing site to justify a different (i.e. smaller than approved) access road. If he firstly developed the access as approved all the problems would disappear.
It would be so much better if he would talk to us rather than shout and abuse. But how else do you handle a bully?b
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby mr sheen » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:08 pm

Presumably you are not a materials scientist who has analysed the materials on site...so you actually have no idea what the materials are.

So you see the only way forward is to be obstructive and slow him down.....nice!! Is that because you aren't getting your own way?? Its no wonder the developer doesn't want to work with you.

By Keep adding more and more minor complaints about the management of the building site which is actually none of your business, it looks like you are a difficult obstructive person looking for any excuse to cause a dispute and be obstructive....which is what you admit you are trying to do.

Your options are to contact the LPA if you believe that they are not complying with regulations and the LPA will investigate or you can seek some legal advice from a professional who will review all your evidence and give you an objective assessment of your position, or .....you could get on with your own business (life is short!) and leave them alone to get the work done and who knows you may even like the result rather than having waste ground.
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:41 pm

Sorry Mr. Sheen, sounds like you got out the wrong side of the bed today.
I am trying to use this forum to find out the best way to deal with a building bully. I am a very open minded sort of person whose only concern is to be able to go about my daily business where it is clear some bully is simply ignoring my neighbours and I and will shortly be obstructing the access to our vehicles by having lots of building related traffic using this narrow access when they have no right. He could simply have kept the rear site exit unblocked and avoided all these issues. instead he has blocked the exit which he promised would be used by us at the appropriate time. To be helpful, we are then suggesting that he builds the approved access first which provides a better short and long time solution.

In other words we have supported the development until he recently started work on it, causing lots of problems and completely ignoring our protestations. Just by co-incidence I am actually the only person he speaks to, I am so reasonable. He keeps saying that he will organise a meeting and I have invited him around for coffee but nothing materialises. I had plenty of experience with bullies at school where I always found it useful to have a big stick, just in case.

I am currently sitting in my kitchen with a large amount of building noise in the background (they are breaking up the old yard floor), this is to be expected and is acceptable. I am simply looking for ways to make him listen, it is this forum that suggests only an injunction will do. I am optimistic that planning permission may yet again be withheld, certainly the Town Council will be at the meeting voicing their objection
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby mr sheen » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:52 pm

He doesn't have to listen to you.
He is carrying out works on land he owns. The works have been agreed LPA.
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby Eliza » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:10 pm

I'd be very concerned about asbestos being chopped-up or machinery feet up in the air and looking rather unstable near my property. Most people would.

Quite apart from the ROW considerations, I think it would be best to ring your Council's Environmental Health Department about the health and safety issues and see what they have to say about this. They won't be concerned about any ROW issues (as it won't be part of their remit). However, they should be concerned about health and safety issues.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby MikeJG » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:28 am

Eliza, good advice. My next door neighbour has submitted a long list of transgressions to the planning portal but I am having difficulty persuading her to send them to planning enforcement. I am trying to persuade the neighbours, who are always happy to complain to me to go direct but they are surprising shy.
I will raise a complaint this morning, they started work (and noise) 1/2 hr before the existing permission allows.
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Re: Avoiding the obstruction of a right of way

Postby jdfi » Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:37 pm

Regarding the ROW i think you either need to see a solicitor to start a court case to restrain them against obstructing your access (injunction and then later full hearing) or just forget it.
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