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boundary rights?

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:30 pm
by chipsjnr
sorry if this is vague im fairly new to this, my problem is i owna house which backs onto land owned by the town council it is a vast piece of land that has run been un tended for nearly 20 years.
wheni was a kid the land was allotments but as the fad for having an allotment died out the allotments handed the land over to the town council.i purchased my house a couple of years ago and looked into buying a piece of this land only to be told it wasnt registered, when i rang the town council they told me they didnt own it so i contacted my district council who also told me they didnt own it??, after a bit of gentle pushing the town council decided that they did own it, and said as long as i dinterect anything on the land i could use it for whatever i wanted( now i wish i had got this in writing:-()

the piece of land backs onto 14 houses and is inacessible from any public right of way( 1 sided is the local primary school, 1 side is farmers fields and the other is where the allotments are now.

me a few neighbours have been using this as an extension of our garden we have been maintaining it as the coucil do not and we would all still like to buy a piece. however today we have all received a letter from the council telling us that no permission ahs been given to use it and any usage must cease imediately. also it ha sbeen noted that some of us have gates leading onto the field.

two of our neighbours who have lived here for lots of years have letters stating its not aproblem having a gate( i have copies of these)

what are my rights ? the council states that the boundary fence is mine there fore surely i can put a gate in it? what rights do i have to maintain my boundary fence from both sides?

what constitutes a boundary fence? can i have some posts and a bit of string ha ha ?

any advice would be nice, i have spent hours looking at the site but couldnt find anything relating to my specific problem?


Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:02 pm
by hzatph
How long have you been using it? Do you have a case for adverse posession - you need to have been treating the land as your own for 12 years without permission of the landowner and it would appear that they are denying that permission was granted.

If the answer on adverse posession is negative, and it is important to resolve this first, I would write back stating that you received permission from person X on date Y and ask for an explanation of why the council has changed its mind and what its intention is for the land.

With regard to your fence, there is no law at all to prevent you from having a gate. Using it is a different matter and it it opens outward then opening it is a trespass.

It is strictly speaking trespass to go onto the land to maintain your fence but what are they going to do about it if they find you doing so.

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:13 pm
by chipsjnr
thanks for the quick reply, unfortunately i have only been tending the land for about 2 years, i received verbal permission to us ethe land at the time of purchase, some other residents have been tending the land for more than 12 years however they were told a couple of years a go to stop growing things( they had a vegetable patch).

obviously the reason for me posting is because ultimately i and the other residents would like to buy a piece of land each just to extend our tiny gardens, the piece of land in question is about the size of 5 football pitches, it has been overgrown for 20 years and obviously this spreads into the gardens with all the addedd bonuses i.e. snakes badgers foxes and moles:-)

i have previous letters sent to other residents stating that they can have a gate and tend the land however the letter we received to day stated that we couldnt have a gate and had to cease any usage of the land.

we have all been very good and no one has erected anything on the land, to be honest all we have ever done is just keep the weeds down behing our properties, the council dont even cut a fire break.

as it stands none of us are going to cease doing what we do, and see what the council does next as it threatened to take action against us in the letter.

i will fit the gate so it doesnt open outwards and see what they say, to gain possesion do ihave to of fenced off the land or is it if i have only tended it? as i seem to think the council have a shake up every few years and i doubt they will even come round and view the land so would i be able to claim continuos usage even though they have told me to cease.

Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:57 pm
by hzatph
Sounds to me like you need a meeting with the council. Be nice to them; they are only human doing a job. You may be able to win them round to selling you some of the land.