Postby Rigby » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:40 pm

I am hoping your readers may be able to give me some advice on any of the points below……

My parents bought a property in 1992 on a private unregistered lane. Between the property and the lane is a strip of land that you have to cross to gain access to the property. The title deeds for the property do not have an express right over this land however they did receive a “Statutory Declaration” signed by a solicitor when they bought the property. The declaration states the previous owners had a right of way with or without vehicles at all times for all purposes, by friends and servants, without consent and without interruption and without payment of any kind since 1960. During the 22 years my parents lived at the property they never experienced any problems whatsoever over access or parking. My father maintained the area of land outside his house. He filled in all the potholes and regularly maintained the area keeping it weed and rubbish free. He parked his motorhome outside his drive on this strip of land for a number of years. Family and visitors always parked on this land as the drive was too small. My parents have never been challenged or had any issues with access or parking whatsoever.

In 2006 planning permission was granted to develop the farm at the end of the lane into a small executive development with the road eventually becoming adopted by the local council once it had been brought up to a satisfactory standard. A new road was installed in 2011 but was never finished. At the same time part of the land in question has been grassed with an access road up the middle from the lane. Developer1 made the changes and built the road without applying for a S.38 nor did he get it inspected or pay a bond. My father was in correspondence with the solicitors of Developer1 via his own solicitors over some outstanding issues with the new road and access but sadly passed away in 2014 without receiving a response.

My husband and I inherited the property and have since moved in. We have since found out Developer1 who owns a considerable amount of land in this area has sold the building plots on to Developer2 so effectively has no more involvement in the making up of the road. This was confirmed during a recent telephone conversation with S38 of the Highways Department of the local council where I was told that Developer2 will be applying for a retrospective S.38.

I have checked with the Land Registry and the land I am querying which lies between the lane and in front of our property is unregistered. I am concerned the council will try to adopt this piece of land when they adopt the road which is of great concern me. I would rather try to obtain the land myself rather than the council adopt it, especially given they have never maintained it or managed it whatsoever. In 2015 we planted a hedge around this piece of land and fitted a pair of gates which effectively closes off the space.

I would like advice on the following:

1. My late father had unresolved issues relating to access to and from the lane. Are these issues still considered valid and require satisfying as I am successor to the title of his property?
2. Can Developer2 develop the road and get it adopted when Developer1 still has outstanding unresolved issues with my late father/me now?
3. Would the council naturally try to adopt this land as a grass verge as well as the road?
4. Do I qualify to claim successive rights for Adverse Possession as I inherited the property from my father?
5. Do I have grounds under all the other elements for claiming Adverse Possession of the land directly in front of our property but not the lane?
6. If I don’t get Adverse Possession are there any other alternatives to keeping the land fenced off and maintained at our own expense as no one else would ever need to use it due to its position and location?
7. Am I able to object to Developer2 if he is carrying on from Developer1? If so how would I do this to ensure my later father/our concerns are taken on-board before the road is inished and finally adopted by the council
8. Where do I stand legally?
9. Any advice would be greatly

I am aware I need the services of a solicitor but would like to try and gain an understanding first.

Thank you for the time you have taken to read my post and thank you in advance for any replies

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Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:52 pm

Hi Rigby,

the property you own comes with a ROW over the land in question so you're chances of successfully gaining ownership via AP are close to zero.

thought it best to clear that up from the off.

Kind regards, Mac
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Postby mr sheen » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:39 pm

Agree with Mac.
You have a right of way over land because you don't own it, so a right to pass and repass is the extent of your legal rights over the land and the fact that you have the right of way confirms that you don't own it.
It looks like the road has been designated as a road and that it is destined to be made up to standard and adopted via agreement with the council and developer. Since you don't own the land, you won't be able to stop this but your right of way will stand.
mr sheen
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Postby jdfi » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:17 am

One of these where a sketch may assist, but surely:

-either they wont go for adoption and your strip will maintain under your adverse possession, and in 2027 you will be able to submit the forms

-or it will get adopted in which case there will be a piece of highway outside your property and you or anyone with a taxed/tested/insured car can park there?
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