Boundary with council footpath and open garden

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charliesdad1
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Boundary with council footpath and open garden

Post by charliesdad1 » Thu May 31, 2018 7:35 pm

Hi all.

many thanks for reading ....

recently, the council undertook some work and parked their vehicles on the land to the front of our house.
Some damage was caused to our vehicle, parked on our drive, although we do not have evidence of an actual collision, we have photos of the vehicles using the front lawn. I suggested that they were tresspassing.

I contacted the council and their solicitors wrote to say that the front area belongs to the council. They also said our drive is council owned.

This not only makes our case for sorting out the vehicle damage more complicated; we did hope, at some time, to widen the drive to add a footpath as its only as wide as a car and gets quite muddy in the Winter.



Due to the inability to post photographs, I will try my best to describe the layout.

We have a semi detached, I believe 1930s or 1950s house.
To the side there is a drive which is shared with the neighbour - nonparty side.
To the front there is approximately 2 m down to our water main. Looking across from there, at our party wall neighbours front garden, which is on the corner, there is a street name sign mounted on two legs in the ground.
to the front of our main water stopcock and the Street name sign, is an area of grass which extends further approximately 4 to 5 metres to the footpath.


However, our original conveyancing solicitor confirmed years ago that the front area is ours, and is an open garden.

On the title plan the boundary line extends to the footpath.
(I am unclear about the accuracy of boundary on the title plan. I understand it does not necessarily represent the exact boundary. But I also thought that, the deviation in its accuracy is for small differences such as extending bay windows et cetera - where appropriate. Elsewhere it's been suggested that title plan boundary accuracy can be as incorrect as suggesting a boundary extends much further than it legally does?)



our conveyancing solicitor, back in 2014, looked at the title plans and said the following:-
'Hi,

This seems quite straight forward, the parcel of land is within your boundary, and there is nothing to indicate any other rights by any other party over it

As the local authority maintain it, it would be worth contacting them to understand why, and for how long. The alternative is just to go ahead, and expect they may never become aware of the change. Even if they do, I doubt they will seek a declaration they want to continue to cut it, and force you back to the current position

Obviously I am not practicing at present, so this is hardly full on legal advice, but clarification of the fairly obvious position, which is unusually clear

thanks'


That email was received in early 2014. Up until mid 2014, as part of their rounds of maintaining grass verges, the council lawmower did sometimes - infrequently - run over that grass and the plots outside the neighbours either side. However since mid 2014 they have not visited, we all mow the grass ourselves. Also, the neighbour two along, has planted a tree and some other plants and infromed us that they were told by the council that the plot outside their house belongs to that house.


When we asked whether the road sign and manhole cover indicate that the plot is a public space, Our original conveyancing solicitor said no, thats not necessarilly correct, and referred to his comment above.


I can provide pics for your perusal. However as a newbie I believe I cannot do so straight away.

many thanks for your ear.

MacadamB53
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Re: Boundary with council footpath and open garden

Post by MacadamB53 » Thu May 31, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi charliesdad1,

it might be prudent to point out that who owns the land may not be relevant...

that is because the land might be part of a highway.

when land is deemed to be part of a highway the surface of the land is bestowed to the local Highways Authority.

many 1000s of properties - residential, commercial, empty fields - with frontage onto a highway actually include some of that same highway.

yours may be one of those.

but whilst these 1000s of properties include parts of a highway, their owners can not compromise the public’s right to freely use the highway land (ie they can’t enclose it, can’t obstruct it).

hope that all made sense and was useful.

kind regards, Mac
ps did you have any questions?

charliesdad1
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Re: Boundary with council footpath and open garden

Post by charliesdad1 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:51 am

MacadamB53 wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 11:02 pm
Hi charliesdad1,

it might be prudent to point out that who owns the land may not be relevant...

that is because the land might be part of a highway.

when land is deemed to be part of a highway the surface of the land is bestowed to the local Highways Authority.

many 1000s of properties - residential, commercial, empty fields - with frontage onto a highway actually include some of that same highway.

yours may be one of those.

but whilst these 1000s of properties include parts of a highway, their owners can not compromise the public’s right to freely use the highway land (ie they can’t enclose it, can’t obstruct it).

hope that all made sense and was useful.

kind regards, Mac
ps did you have any questions?

Hi mac
Thanks for your response

It still comes down to how to prove it.
I have no intention (or at least I didnt until this problem!) of enclosing the area.
As I say, its a case of working out whether the council were trespassing or not. Of course in your scenario, they werent - but it still begs the question, is it part of a highway? How do i find out?

Was my conveyancing solicitor right, or wrong?


thanks

charliesdad1
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Re: Boundary with council footpath and open garden

Post by charliesdad1 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:12 am

unfortunately I still cant add photos. - if they are of any help?

keeps saying they are too large at 690 kb.

Janieb
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Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:44 am

Re: Boundary with council footpath and open garden

Post by Janieb » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:44 pm

I suspect that although you own the land, it is classed as amenity land. This means it can't be enclosed. I have a similar problem. I've decided that the local council have more money than me so I'm not going to fight them.
"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest" Alexandre Dumas (fils)

MacadamB53
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Re: Boundary with council footpath and open garden

Post by MacadamB53 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:32 pm

Hi charliedad1,

is this highway?

dunno, that’d be a question for the LHA, but if was to hazard a guess it’d be “yes” based on the details you’ve provided.

kind regards, Mac

jdfi
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Re: Boundary with council footpath and open garden

Post by jdfi » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:50 pm

Your solicitor.... was he a fully insured registered conveyancer back in 2014? There may be a claim.

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