Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

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robuk2021
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Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by robuk2021 »

Hello to the forum, this is my first post so please be kind : - )

I have an ongoing issue with the council and my neighbour. We moved into our house fairly recently in 2018, the back garden is quite small and we noticed on our deeds that we owned an extra 2m at the other side of the fence at the bottom of the garden. The land to the back slopes down steeply and there is a big tree which provides good screening. Our garden was starting to fall away under the old fence when you stood close to it, not safe when kids are playing in the garden.

We decided to take down the fence and build a retaining wall on the boundary between our land and the park directly behind making the garden safe and bigger for the kids. Our neighbour who we don't get one with reported us to the council who came out, inspected, checked our deeds which showed we owned the land and everything seemed fine. The wall is built and made out of breeze blocks, stands at around 1.3m from our garden side and 1.5 park side. We have installed fencing that sits on top of the new wall which will all be level with the existing garden eventually.

Our original intention was to make a gate in the wall and steps leading down to it from our garden side. When our builder came out he said he wouldn't risk it as it could make the wall unstable as it was leaning slightly and not quite straight. So for the moment we have a flat garden that ends with a slope at the bottom, and a wall with fencing on top!.

We have recently had a lockable inward opening gate installed that provides access to the park. Due to the steep drop at the other side of the fence i came up with the idea of installing a piece of scaffolding projecting out so i can place a removable ramp to step onto when exiting the gate. The ramp slopes down and sits on council owned land on the park side.

I caught my neighbour last week in the bushes directly behind taking photographs to send into the council. They have since wrote me a letter saying unauthorised access and encroachment onto council owned land in the rear of my property. The letter reads: following a recent inspection of the councils land holdings to the rear of (my property address) it was observed that you or your contractors have completed the erection of your new rear boundary wall topped with wooden fence panels. It was observed that you or your contractors have installed a pedestrian gate in your new rear boundary allowing unauthorised access directly onto the councils park land.

Permission would not be granted for any of the above actions which you have taken on a unilateral basis, and i must, therefore, insist that you carry out the following remedial actions without delay. Remove the ramp and any possessions from the councils land, remove the gate or gap in your rear boundary and replace with permanent fencing so that there can be no unauthorised access to the councils land.

Can the council make me remove the gate on my own land? Don't i have the right to freely access the park? why would me accessing the park be unauthorised? im i not in my rights to remove all fencing or add 10 gates if i so choose? seems very harsh.

Would i be ok to install a section of scaffolding into my wall where the ramp can attach to so the the ramp is not actually touching the councils land?

All i need is access to the park to walk my dog and take the kids to the swings once in a while. I have noticed 7 other properties that back on to the park with private gates in their boundary fencing. I am trying to find a workable solution any advice or ideas would be much appreciated.
Collaborate
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by Collaborate »

You can’t keep the scaffolding there as it encroaches beyond your boundary, but unless there is a local bye law or something in your deeds there is nothing to stop you keeping the gate.

Perhaps write back saying you’ll remove the scaffolding but that you will reserve your position over the gate until they explain on what legal basis they think they can require you to remove the gate.

They could always erect their own fence on the other side of your gate.
robuk2021
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by robuk2021 »

Thanks for your reply. The gate would be useless without access down at the other side, due to big drop.

If I can't use the ramp do you think I could get away with having some ladders installed on my wall that dont project beyond the wooden posts that are holding the fence up? they are quite thick at about 4inches.

I thought as much about the gate I don't see how they can have a legal basis to force me to remove it specially when other people have gates leading onto council land.

Yes they could fence it off from their side and there is nothing I could do.
MacadamB53
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by MacadamB53 »

robuk2021 wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:03 pm Thanks for your reply. The gate would be useless without access down at the other side, due to big drop.

If I can't use the ramp do you think I could get away with having some ladders installed on my wall that dont project beyond the wooden posts that are holding the fence up? they are quite thick at about 4inches.

I thought as much about the gate I don't see how they can have a legal basis to force me to remove it specially when other people have gates leading onto council land.

Yes they could fence it off from their side and there is nothing I could do.
the outside face of your wall marks the limit of what you own, yes? (you didn’t have it built four inches into your land, did you?)
pilman
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by pilman »

The council acting as a land-owner can take steps to prevent a trespass over the land they own, even if it is a park.

Presumably they have gates that can be locked at night, as that is what I remember when I lived opposite a council owned park as a youngster.

Whether the other properties that have a back gate have a legal right to access the park is a matter of property law, which favours the council, because no one can gain a right to use a park unless they can prove over 20 years use of the land has become what is called a legal easement.

Even that may be difficult to prove, because the use of someone else's land for recreation purposes has to be without force. So making a gate in an otherwise solid wall that allows access on to the council's land may never be enough evidence to support a claim in 20 years time.

Why don't you think about what you would do if the next door neighbours inserted a gate in the side boundary that separates your property from theirs and started to walk into your garden whenever they felt like it.

It seems that is what you want to do because the council have a park that shares a common boundary with your property.
FilthWizzard
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by FilthWizzard »

robuk2021 wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:03 pm Thanks for your reply. The gate would be useless without access down at the other side, due to big drop.

If I can't use the ramp do you think I could get away with having some ladders installed on my wall that dont project beyond the wooden posts that are holding the fence up? they are quite thick at about 4inches.

I thought as much about the gate I don't see how they can have a legal basis to force me to remove it specially when other people have gates leading onto council land.

Yes they could fence it off from their side and there is nothing I could do.
You could of course construct the descent on your own land, then put in the gate at a lower level such that you can use it. Ladders, on your own land, would be OK I guess but very inconvenient for access.
w3526602
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by w3526602 »

Hi Robuck,

Do you have a copy of the Land Register of the park? Assuming that such exists? Does your gate open into the park , or into your garden? Does your Land Registration, and or Planning Approval require you, or the LA, to erect and maintain a fence on your boundary? It could be interesting if the LA claimed your land.

I believe there is some law about watching somebody build something on your property, waiting till they have finished, then telling them to knock it down?

What would be the LA's attitude, if you had built your wall 12 inches inside your boundary, then claimed you needed the gate in order to maintain to other side of your wall?

Have you gifted a wall to the LA?

Does your house insurance cover you for this sort of claim?

Power to your elbow!

John (602)
602 (That was my "last three")
cleo5
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by cleo5 »

What about a stile?
You certainly cannot place anthing on the park land but a stile would be entirely on your land.
I too have ground that runs down to the park below.
We put up a fence to keep our animals safe but that has disntegrated and we can easilyy step down to the park.
The children jut used to push the fence down and climb over..
The other houses have gates or just paths that go down into the.
park but next door has a style.
This would be on your land and you just climb over.

How much higher. Is your garden than the park ?
Can you find out if the former owners of your house accessed the park from their garden.
Dogs can easily get over stiles. If too small then you just lift it over.
Ps why was the wall built crooked?
span
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by span »

Not a gate, but a drawbridge! One that can be lowered to firm a ramp for you.
Bonus engineering points if you have to make it hinged to double it's length for the correct angle of ramp.
robuk2021
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by robuk2021 »

pilman wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:39 pm The council acting as a land-owner can take steps to prevent a trespass over the land they own, even if it is a park.

Presumably they have gates that can be locked at night, as that is what I remember when I lived opposite a council owned park as a youngster.

Yes but this is to stop vehicles. There are 5 other points of access to for the public.

Whether the other properties that have a back gate have a legal right to access the park is a matter of property law, which favours the council, because no one can gain a right to use a park unless they can prove over 20 years use of the land has become what is called a legal easement.

ok,

Even that may be difficult to prove, because the use of someone else's land for recreation purposes has to be without force. So making a gate in an otherwise solid wall that allows access on to the council's land may never be enough evidence to support a claim in 20 years time.

ok

Why don't you think about what you would do if the next door neighbours inserted a gate in the side boundary that separates your property from theirs and started to walk into your garden whenever they felt like it.

Yes but as a member of the public i have can freely access the park not freely access neighbours garden.

It seems that is what you want to do because the council have a park that shares a common boundary with your property.

Of course i want to access the park, its a 15minute walk around to get to the other side of my fence, common sense.
robuk2021
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by robuk2021 »

cleo5 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:17 pm What about a stile?
You certainly cannot place anthing on the park land but a stile would be entirely on your land.
I too have ground that runs down to the park below.
We put up a fence to keep our animals safe but that has disntegrated and we can easilyy step down to the park.
The children jut used to push the fence down and climb over..
The other houses have gates or just paths that go down into the.
park but next door has a style.
This would be on your land and you just climb over.

How much higher. Is your garden than the park ?
Can you find out if the former owners of your house accessed the park from their garden.
Dogs can easily get over stiles. If too small then you just lift it over.
Ps why was the wall built crooked?

The wall is too high and i don't want other members of the public coming into my private garden. A stile wouldnt work. Thanks for your comments.
span
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by span »

robuk2021 wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:04 pm
cleo5 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:17 pm What about a stile?
You certainly cannot place anthing on the park land but a stile would be entirely on your land.
I too have ground that runs down to the park below.
We put up a fence to keep our animals safe but that has disntegrated and we can easilyy step down to the park.
The children jut used to push the fence down and climb over..
The other houses have gates or just paths that go down into the.
park but next door has a style.
This would be on your land and you just climb over.

How much higher. Is your garden than the park ?
Can you find out if the former owners of your house accessed the park from their garden.
Dogs can easily get over stiles. If too small then you just lift it over.
Ps why was the wall built crooked?

The wall is too high and i don't want other members of the public coming into my private garden. A stile wouldnt work. Thanks for your comments.
Drawbridge!
robuk2021
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Re: Boundry Gate, Nosey Neighbours Council Letter

Post by robuk2021 »

it's more or less a drawbridge, I just need to attach a rope to one side and I can pull it up.
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