Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

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BriarBabe22
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Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by BriarBabe22 »

Hello, first time poster here - thanks in advance if you are able to respond to my query.

I live in a rural setting and myself and my neighbour have ditches on our properties/land. I own a ditch that runs perpendicular to the boundary between our properties. The water from my ditch discharges through an overflow pipe, then through a short run of culvert under my neighbour's land, and then out into my neighbour's ditch which runs parallel to the boundary but about 20 metres from it, and back down his land towards both our properties. Both the ditches/overflow pipe/culvert have been in place for many years (don't know exactly how many but more than 13) as the land used to belong to one property before we purchased our half of it.

Can my neighbour block off the overflow from our ditch into his? My understanding from riparian landowner 'law' is that they have to accept water from upstream of them without obstructing it?

Thank you :)
arborlad
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by arborlad »

BriarBabe22 wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:58 pm
Can my neighbour block off the overflow from our ditch into his?


No.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
MacadamB53
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by MacadamB53 »

arborlad wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:17 pm
BriarBabe22 wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:58 pmCan my neighbour block off the overflow from our ditch into his?
No.
why not?
ukmicky
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by ukmicky »

The two titles were owned by the same person and were one single title and the presence of the connecting ditches at the time of division and conveyance to the OP provides evidence of continuous and apparent use for drainage when the land was split, so there is a good chance either Section 62 LPA or the rule from Wheeldon v Burrows will come into play if I'm understanding the OP post correctly.

To the OP

I am making an assumption above based on how I'm reading your post so to be more sure it would be interesting to know what happened in what order

We know Mr. Biggles (had to give him a name ) owned A and split it in to two titles A & B


1. Did Mr. Biggles sell B to you whilst he still retained A or did Mr. Biggles retain B and then sold A and then later on sell you B after he sold A
2. Mr. Biggles still owns A or has now sold it.
3. Were you at anytime renting your property from Mr. Biggles whilst he owned A


Also I believe a drainage ditch is classed as a water course and the riparian owner under the land drainage act and is not allowed to impede the flow. but i will check that.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
ukmicky
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by ukmicky »

Unless there is an exclusion somewhere I haven't seen the Land drainage Act 1991 below governs yours and your neighbours ditches
23Prohibition on obstructions etc. in watercourses
(1)No person shall—
(a)erect any mill dam, weir or other like obstruction to the flow of any ordinary watercourse or raise or otherwise alter any such obstruction; or
[F1(b)erect a culvert in an ordinary watercourse, or
(c)alter a culvert in a manner that would be likely to affect the flow of an ordinary watercourse,]without the consent in writing of the drainage board concerned..


Watercourses’ Defined under the Land Drainage Act 1991
as “all rivers and streams
and all ditches, drains, cuts, culverts, dikes, sluices, sewers (other than
public sewers within the meaning of the Water Industry Act 1991) and
passages through which water flows

And you have section 28
28
Orders requiring the cleansing of ditches etc.
(1)Where a ditch is in such a condition as—
(a)to cause injury to any land; or
(b)to prevent the improvement of the drainage of any land,the [F65appropriate tribunal], on the application of the owner or occupier of the land, may if they think fit make an order requiring the person or persons named in the order to carry out such remedial work as may be specified in the order.
(2)An order under this section with respect to a ditch may name—
(a)any person who is an owner or occupier of land through which the ditch passes or which abuts on the ditch; and
(b)any person who, though not such an owner or occupier, has a right to carry out the work specified in the order or any part of it.
(3)Where an order under this section names more than one person it may either—
(a)require each of those persons to carry out a specified part of the work specified in the order; or
(b)subject to subsection (4) below, require all those persons jointly to carry out the whole of that work.
(4)Where the [F66appropriate tribunal] make an order requiring persons jointly to carry out any work, the Tribunal, without prejudice to those persons’ joint liability, may, if they think fit, specify in the order the proportions in which those persons are to contribute to the cost of doing so.
(5)In this section—
“ditch” includes a culverted and a piped ditch but does not include a watercourse vested in, or under the control of, a drainage body; and
“remedial work”, in relation to a ditch, means work—
(a)for cleansing the ditch, removing from it any matter which impedes the flow of water or otherwise putting it in proper order; and
(b)for protecting it.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
arborlad
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by arborlad »

MacadamB53 wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 11:07 pm
arborlad wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:17 pm
BriarBabe22 wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:58 pmCan my neighbour block off the overflow from our ditch into his?
No.
why not?



..................so you think he can block it...............
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
BriarBabe22
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by BriarBabe22 »

ukmicky wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:48 am
1. Did Mr. Biggles sell B to you whilst he still retained A or did Mr. Biggles retain B and then sold A and then later on sell you B after he sold A
2. Mr. Biggles still owns A or has now sold it.
3. Were you at anytime renting your property from Mr. Biggles whilst he owned A
Hi ukmicky. Thank you for your responses, much appreciated.

To answer your query above:

Mr Biggles (!) sold us B whilst he still retained A. Then 2 years ago, he sold A to my new neighbour. We have always owned, not rented, our property. I hope this makes things clearer.
arborlad
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by arborlad »

arborlad wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:17 pm
BriarBabe22 wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:58 pm
Can my neighbour block off the overflow from our ditch into his?


No.




You haven't said if the neighbour has actually done this or is simply planning to, either way - he can't.

Do you have NFU or CLA membership?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
BriarBabe22
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by BriarBabe22 »

arborlad wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:45 pm
You haven't said if the neighbour has actually done this or is simply planning to, either way - he can't.

Do you have NFU or CLA membership?
Hi arborlad, thanks for your responses. My neighbour has not yet blocked the overflow, but we are nervous that he might, so it's reassuring to hear that legally, it seems, he can't do this.

We don't have membership of NFU or CLA - not sure what those organisations are tbh.

Thanks again
MacadamB53
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Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by MacadamB53 »

arborlad wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:45 pm
arborlad wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:17 pm
BriarBabe22 wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:58 pmCan my neighbour block off the overflow from our ditch into his?
No.
You haven't said if the neighbour has actually done this or is simply planning to, either way - he can't.Do you have NFU or CLA membership?
why not? and please don’t answer with a question...
arborlad
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Can my neighbour block off my ditch?

Post by arborlad »

BriarBabe22 wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:13 pm
We don't have membership of NFU or CLA - not sure what those organisations are tbh.

Thanks again



National Farmers Union - Country Landowners Association.................both have good legals.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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