Encroachment onto shared alleyway.

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Fi1964
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Encroachment onto shared alleyway.

Post by Fi1964 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:01 pm

Hi,

I apologise in advance for the long post.

I co-own a property which has access to our garages at the back via a shared alleyway. This hasn’t been used for years as when my parents died we rented the property out and none of the neighbours use their garages any more. The neighbour next door moved in a couple of years ago and has built a huge extension on the house and a huge outbuilding in the garden. He had no planning for the outbuilding when it was built but after complaints from us he had to apply for retrospective planning. This was granted surprisingly as the council could not gain access to the property which is approx 10 feet high.

When he moved in he also changed the lock and promised to give us a key, which he didnt. We have just got a key and have now been able to inspect the alley and back of the property. He has built his perimeter wall approximately five feet into the alleyway the whole length of his property and extended it approximately four extra feet at the back. In addition he has then put drainage and pipes from his extension into the alleyway. This has rendered the alleyway too narrow for cars, or in fact emergency vehicles. This means we can no longer use the garage on the property or sell it as having a garage.

In addition he is storing building materials in the alley. The wall around the perimeter is approximately ten feet high, so looking on the councils site he should have asked for planning on that too, but didn’t.

Today I contacted the council again and they referred me to his successful planning application. I saw that he has submitted plans for the extension to the house and the outbuilding showing the much larger plot he has decided to claim. We have very old plans which show the width of his plot.

What I don’t understand is how could the council have allowed this without checking plot sizes. More importantly what can we do about our issue with the alleyway? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have copies of the plans but it says they are too big to upload.

Collaborate
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Re: Encroachment onto shared alleyway.

Post by Collaborate » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:22 pm

Planning don't care who owns the land. That isn't their function. It's also irrelevant from a planning perspective what third party legal rights may be affected by a development.

Your opportunity to stop the development occurred most likely when it was being built. But no one did anything.

That delay will probably limit your claim to damages (the difference between the value of your house with an uninterrupted ROW and a restricted ROW) together with an injunction to prevent the ROW being further impeded. Time to check your house insurance for legal cover.

ukmicky
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Re: Encroachment onto shared alleyway.

Post by ukmicky » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:25 pm

Collaborate wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:22 pm
Planning don't care who owns the land. That isn't their function. It's also irrelevant from a planning perspective what third party legal rights may be affected by a development.

Your opportunity to stop the development occurred most likely when it was being built. But no one did anything.

That delay will probably limit your claim to damages (the difference between the value of your house with an uninterrupted ROW and a restricted ROW) together with an injunction to prevent the ROW being further impeded. Time to check your house insurance for legal cover.
Whilst damages in lieu of on injunction can be a appropriate remedy in some encroachment cases, time is not enough on its own for a court to order such a remedy. On its own it may limit the claimants ability to gain an injunction and full damages for the nuisance caused but will not on its own prevent an injunction from being granted.

Equity can also only be used where a genuine innocent mistake has occurred.(clean hands)
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Fi1964
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Re: Encroachment onto shared alleyway.

Post by Fi1964 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:23 am

Thank you both for your replies.

The reason nothing was done by us when it was being built is the we rent the property out and were unaware he had taken so much land.

We will check our insurance but what are our options? Will the council do anything or is it up to us to take him to court?

Thanks again,

Kind regards.

Collaborate
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Re: Encroachment onto shared alleyway.

Post by Collaborate » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:35 am

Council will do nothing. It is a private dispute. Be thankful they empty your bins.

It's all down to you.

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