Minimum width of path

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Maoiliosa
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Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:17 pm

Minimum width of path

Post by Maoiliosa » Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:59 am

Hello members. I have recently moved into a terraced house. On our deeds we have a right of way across our neighbour’s garden and along the side of his garage to the front and public path.

There are no plans attached to the Deeds. Is there a standard width of ROW path?

span
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:34 am

Re: Minimum width of path

Post by span » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:30 am

No.

Post up the relevant verbiage from the deeds. Your row may be the entirety of the garden, or may be more restrictive.

IdefixUK
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Re: Minimum width of path

Post by IdefixUK » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:38 pm

Hello,
The title deeds and plan relating to your neighbour's property may have more detail regarding the right of way. You can download a copy of each for £3 each (if the property is registered) from the Land Registry website. (There are websites out there that charge more. I advise you to use the .gov site).
When you get that done please post the wording here, remember to remove any details which might identify you, your neighbour, or where you are. As span asks, please also post the relevant words from your own title deeds .
Some other questions spring to mind.
How many in the terrace? Do other houses access the rear of their properties over the land of the same neighbour?
Were the houses all constucted at the same time? And approx when?
Were any garages a later addition?..when?
Did your house have a garage/stables to the rear requiring access across the neighbour's land? Is there evidence of old gateways or pathways crossing the rear of the properties along the terrace.


Regards

Maoiliosa
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:17 pm

Minimum access to right of way

Post by Maoiliosa » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:38 pm

Hello, Sometime ago I enquired about my right of way. I got an immediate response from members on this site but didn’t follow up. So here I am again. I live in a terraced house. I have a ROW from my back garden into neighbour’s garden, through a gate in the fence, across his garden, down a narrow passageway alongside a garage which is attached to his house house and out into the public path. In reality it is inaccessible. My neighbour uses the narrow passageway as store area for builders planks, wood for burning, metal scaffolding poles etc. It is dangerous. I made a number of failed attempts to use it.
My objective is to gather the facts/rights of how ROW work. My solicitor has confirmed that no plan/drawing/map exists showing the actual path, dimensions etc.
My query is...
a) is there a minimum path width which is accepted for ROW? In other words a width which allows me to walk safely in the passageway.
B) Has anyone got a similar ROW on a drawing/plan who would let me see a copy?
7CD40735-6A4E-4974-93FF-3660C68D6A19.jpeg
My solicitor advised to get one drawn up and agreed with neighbour for the future.
Finally, I enclose excerpt from my deeds showing the ROW section.
Looking forward to hearing from the members.
Thanks
Maoiliosa
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mr sheen
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Re: Minimum access to right of way

Post by mr sheen » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:01 pm

There are no required dimensions unless a grant specified them.
As long as you can manage to pass and repass from AtoB where the right of way exists then you are unlikely to successfully sue for ‘substantial interference’ of your rights. You have the right to remove anything that is on your ROW so that you can pass over and along the ROW.
If the owner of the land over which you ROW passes prevents use of it then he needs to be politely reminded of your rights by sending a copy of the deed of grant.

arborlad
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Re: Minimum access to right of way

Post by arborlad » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:19 pm

arborlad

smile...it confuses people

IdefixUK
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Re: Minimum access to right of way

Post by IdefixUK » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:31 pm

Hello Maoiliosa,

Firstly let me explain that I'm not in any way legally qualified.

Interestingly it seems that the easement (Right of Way etc) benefitting your property was granted by deed in 1925. At that time car ownership was rare when compared with current times. You might consider it unlikely that the then owner of No.5 had a car at that time, let alone a garage in situ at the time the grant was made, they may have had other buildings such as sheds where the garage now stands, however. I mention this because it is quite possible that the garage was built over the route of the right of way as it was being used at the time of the grant in 1925. The previous owners of your property may have agreed with the neighbour to allow the route to be changed to that which "exists" today. It would seem, from what you say, that you could still access the public highway on foot, by going through the gate and around the garage, but that route is cluttered with various items belonging to the servient owner (that's the neighbour at No.5). If you are interested in the history of the route then perhaps somewhere you can find some aerial photos which may evidence the route used on foot around the time of the grant (eg a path or well used area over a lawn etc.) You could try local history societies or your local library as a starting point.

Did you download the Title deeds to No5, it is possible that the Right of Way, and the other Rights, have not been noted on that title, so the neighbour may be unaware of them?

Even if the neighbour is aware of the rights they may think that if those Rights are not exercised by you for long enough then those Rights will be extinguished or lost in some way. In the case Ben v Hardinge (1992) the Court of Appeal found that a Right of Way, which had not been used for 175 years was still valid. There are ways in which Rights can be extinguished, the easiest being by the parties to agree to a deed of extinguishment, but only rarely can a ROW be impliedly released by the actions of a dominant owner (you and people who owned your property before you), or even perhaps by their inactions.

I am not aware of any law cases where a minimum width of a Right of Way on foot has been specified by a Judge, but clearly the available width should be adequate for a typical person to exercise the right without significant and ongoing inconvenience as they walk.

On the the Bailii web site you can access transcripts of different law cases, two which might be of interest to you are B&Q v Liverpool & Lancashire properties (2000) EWCH 433 (Ch) and the later Emmett V Sissons 2014 EWHA Civ 64 (at paragraph 35).

I would like to ask a question or so.
1) Are you just wanting to assert your Rights, or would your life be appreciably better or easier for you if you could exercise this Right? (I'm not [yet]convinced the right "on foot" would allow you to drag a wheely bin with you, or push a wheel-barrow in front of you, but, as usual I stand to be corrected).
2) If you don't actually need the Right of Way would you consider releasing the right if the neighbour paid you? ( you would probably need permission from any mortgage lender to do this). Keep hold of the Rights to maintain the drains and your property.
3) Do you have any Legal Protection Insurance (this often comes either with, or as an option, when you purchase household and buildings insurance)?
4) Do you currently get on well with the neighbour, or are there some other frictions?

You will doubtless have thought about the ongoing relationship you may have with your neighbours if they are effectively "told what to do by the newcomer". You might like to consider fine-tuning your diplomacy skills before doing anything...perhaps approach your neighbour with your deeds and ask if they can help interpret them, ask if they can help you locate the drains etc (just in case), then ask about the exact position of the route of the Right of Way. The last thing you want is to create a dispute. Disputes need to be declared, even years in the future, when either property is sold. Disputes can reduce the value of both properties, and solicitors fees and legal costs can spiral frighteningly so as to far exceed the value of the Right which might you seek to protect. Disputes are not only expensive, they are also not good for your health, they should come with a Government Health warning.
Please keep an open mind.

Regards

Maoiliosa
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:17 pm

Re: Minimum access to right of way

Post by Maoiliosa » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:27 pm

Thank you for your comments. In response to points raised.
1. I totally agree with diplomacy as the way forward.
2. I wish to use this right of way on a regular weekly basis. I am a keen gardener and access to the garden was a condition of buying the property.
3. It is dangerous for me to walk down the passageway by the garage because of obstructions as mentioned above.
4. I am curious and would love clarification by the right of way ‘on foot’ stated on the deeds. I presume, no horses, bikes, etc?
5. I am 67, healthy, 10.5 stone... but if I were 20 stone I wouldn’t be able to walk down the passageway. Point being there surely is a ‘minimum’ width for a ‘safe accessible row’ (?)
6. I do wish to bring the garden waste bin and my small trolly which carries my compost bags down the passageway. Both myself and one of these items are still less than a 20 stone person.
I would love to hear from anyone who has seen a document relating to minimum width of row paths.
Thanks again for info to date
Maoiliosa

arborlad
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Re: Minimum access to right of way

Post by arborlad » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:29 pm

arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Maoiliosa
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:17 pm

Re: Minimum access to right of way

Post by Maoiliosa » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:39 pm

Hi Arborlad
I cannot access the link you provided... any other way to get the info to me, please? :D

arborlad
Posts: 8450
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Minimum width of path

Post by arborlad » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:41 pm

Bump
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Maoiliosa
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2019 2:17 pm

Re: Minimum width of path

Post by Maoiliosa » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:43 pm

I think I have answered my own question..

A private right of way on foot permits you to:

pass and repass on foot between the dominant tenement and the public highway;
with or without a load that one person might be expected to be capable of carrying;
or pushing a small barrow or trolley or perambulator, or wheeling (not riding) a bicycle, provided that the wheeled device is not too wide to be accommodated by the footpath and by any gates along the path.

SJC14
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Minimum width of path

Post by SJC14 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:24 pm

Maoiliosa wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:43 pm
I think I have answered my own question..

A private right of way on foot permits you to:

pass and repass on foot between the dominant tenement and the public highway;
with or without a load that one person might be expected to be capable of carrying;
or pushing a small barrow or trolley or perambulator, or wheeling (not riding) a bicycle, provided that the wheeled device is not too wide to be accommodated by the footpath and by any gates along the path.
Is that what your deeds say or general advice? My last house had a PROW that was 30cm wide at the top of my drive but only over 1/3 of it (ie utterly useless) as per the deeds.

MacadamB53
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Re: Minimum width of path

Post by MacadamB53 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:34 pm

SJC14 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:24 pm
Maoiliosa wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:43 pm
I think I have answered my own question..

A private right of way on foot permits you to:

pass and repass on foot between the dominant tenement and the public highway;
with or without a load that one person might be expected to be capable of carrying;
or pushing a small barrow or trolley or perambulator, or wheeling (not riding) a bicycle, provided that the wheeled device is not too wide to be accommodated by the footpath and by any gates along the path.
Is that what your deeds say or general advice? My last house had a PROW that was 30cm wide at the top of my drive but only over 1/3 of it (ie utterly useless) as per the deeds.
a PROW - Public Right Of Way - mentioned in your deeds?

SJC14
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:23 pm

Re: Minimum width of path

Post by SJC14 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:23 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:34 pm
SJC14 wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:24 pm
Maoiliosa wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:43 pm
I think I have answered my own question..

A private right of way on foot permits you to:

pass and repass on foot between the dominant tenement and the public highway;
with or without a load that one person might be expected to be capable of carrying;
or pushing a small barrow or trolley or perambulator, or wheeling (not riding) a bicycle, provided that the wheeled device is not too wide to be accommodated by the footpath and by any gates along the path.
Is that what your deeds say or general advice? My last house had a PROW that was 30cm wide at the top of my drive but only over 1/3 of it (ie utterly useless) as per the deeds.
a PROW - Public Right Of Way - mentioned in your deeds?
Private right of way for neighbours cars to turn.

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