Child safety in rights of way

happydaysalways
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Child safety in rights of way

Post by happydaysalways » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:32 pm

Hi, I would welcome any comments and advice to help me with this matter.
We live in an end house with 2 terrace houses allowed to use the right of way through our back garden. They also have their own front doors.
We have a small 3 year old who has got out of the back gate which is the right of access gate by it being left open by the neighbours. We have put a bolt across the gate as our child can now open the gate to get out and there is a main road outside with fast traffic so he could easily be killed.
Our neighbours even though they still have a right of way as they can go in through their front door go out of the back door and unlock the bolt on the right of way gate given them continous access...are saying that they we can not bolt it and they can leave it open and our 3 year old should be supervised in the garden so he doesnt get out. He is safe in the garden as it is completely blocked off and safe from any harm when the bolt is across.
One neighbour is allowing a different neighbour who lives elsewhere to come in and out of the access when she pleases along with her 4 kids and a dog and is the one who is leaving the gate open...is she allowed to walk through our garden when she pleases and endanger our son?
Is this legal and is there any thing we can do to protect the safety of our son?

ukmicky
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by ukmicky » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:38 pm

You cannot force anyone with a legal right to use the right of way to lock the gate
IOne neighbour is allowing a different neighbour who lives elsewhere to come in and out of the access when she pleases along with her 4 kids and a dog and is the one who is leaving the gate open...is she allowed to walk through our garden when she pleases and endanger our son?
If she hass no legal rights to use the right of way and her main purpose is to use the right of way to enter her land then she is trespassing. You need evidence of this film her if you can.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

happydaysalways
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by happydaysalways » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:55 pm

Hi
Thanks for your reply.
The other neighbour does not have legal access but her and her 4 kids have been given permission by the adjoining next door neighbour to use her garden whenever she wants which passes right past our back door and open view kitchen. Plus they are in and out leaving the gate open

despair
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by despair » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:26 pm

The only way to protect your somn would be to not buy a house with a ROW

Your solicitor should have explained the ramifications of a ROW

The users do not have to close the gate and any bolt or lock counts as an interference with the ROW

pretty much the only thing you could do is fit a heavy duty closure spring but they could still prop the gate open and leave it open

Can you not section off the ROW to make it an alleyway

happydaysalways
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by happydaysalways » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:30 pm

Thanks very much we thought as much.

No we cant fence it off its a shame as now our little boy isn't safe in our own garden. If only people had a little neighbourly feeling life would be a happier place.

span
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by span » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:07 am

happydaysalways wrote:Our neighbours even though they still have a right of way as they can go in through their front door go out of the back door and unlock the bolt on the right of way gate given them continous access.............................................One neighbour is allowing a different neighbour who lives elsewhere to come in and out of the access when she pleases along with her 4 kids and a dog and is the one who is leaving the gate open...is she allowed to walk through our garden when she pleases and endanger our son?
Is this legal and is there any thing we can do to protect the safety of our son?

You cannot modify or place restrictions or conditions on your neighbours right to enjoy their right of way. It's simply not correct to say they still have a right of way if they go in the front and out the back - they're entitled to come in the back also.

Similarily, anyone with a legitimagte reason to visit your neighbours property has a right to do so via the right of way.

As for protecting your son - have you considered fitting appropriate gate furniture? A self closing spring will close the gate regardless if anyone leaves it open or not, and a self latching catch fitted high enough to be out of reach of small arms will kepp your lad safely in the garden. Make sure the latch can be opened from the outside though, cut an armhole in the gate to give access to it if necessary.

Have a look at practically any on-line ironmongers: http://www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/Prod ... nd_Latches

hzatph
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by hzatph » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:18 am

Are you saying that your neighbour has given another family permission to use the right of way to get to the house of that other family? They have no right to do that. If they are using it to visit your neighbour then this is an legitimate use.

You can bolt the gate so long as users are able to open it to gain access. You can't force them to bolt it again but a spring may serve the purpose as suggested. 3 year old children grow fast so you may not be in this position for very long hopefully.

andrew54
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by andrew54 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:02 am

hzatph wrote: 3 year old children grow fast so you may not be in this position for very long hopefully.
Yes they do grow quickly. I was in that position, I was a 3 year old with a gate onto a very busy road. I survived - the gate was rather large and heavy. That was more than half a century ago, where have all the years gone?

happydaysalways
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by happydaysalways » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:12 pm

We have bolted the gate with access to both sides but the neighbours aren't agreeing. This has all come to light as another neighbour with no right of way but goes to visit our next door neighbour (with a right of way)through our garden regularly to do her garen and keeps leaving the gate open and our little boy was in the garden and he ran out onto the road. so we are trying desperately to prevent a terrible accident happening! Also when he is in nursery or we are out we unbolt it.

Thanks for all your replies and advise.It just seems people dont really care anymore

andrew54
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by andrew54 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:29 pm

happydaysalways wrote: This has all come to light as another neighbour with no right of way but goes to visit our next door neighbour (with a right of way)through our garden regularly to do her garen and keeps leaving the gate open
Visitors have a right to use this route, and so does anyone doing gardening at the house with a right. What is wrong with a spring and a latch?

span
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by span » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:27 pm

happydaysalways wrote:another neighbour with no right of way but goes to visit our next door neighbour (with a right of way)through our garden regularly
You seem to be labouring under a misaprehension. Anyone, postman, delivery man, jehovah's witness, political canvasser, beggars have a legitimate right to use the right of way therough your garden to reach your neighbour's property. There's nothing you can do about that.

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Mattylad
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by Mattylad » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:44 pm

Put 2 gate closing springs on to make it close even faster.

luckystar
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by luckystar » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:24 pm

hello
i totally understand how you feel. i moved a week before christmas into a nightmare! i have 5 children, and to cut a long story short found out my rear garden has been used unknown by my landlord by 5 other familys as a right of way for 20 or so years! they come from both directions into my garden!! nothing was fenced off it was all completely open to whomever wanted to use it : (
one side has been 'dealt with' to a point.
the other side cross my kitchen and bathroom window, and have a long path to walk along up from a side gate before they reach the exit so can spend some time 'enjoying' their right. two familys use this route, and they encourage others also to use route, grown men (strangers) have frightend my little girls by walking across my garden when they have been out playing, nothing i can do!
what i have done though is fence off the path so they can only use the path not my grass (as some choose to use) my grass has a seperate gate which i lock as this is my garden and i have a right to do that.
the side gate that they enter-re enter i cannot lock but i will bolt it and put every darn spring i can use on it. it wont stop them crossing my windows but when my children are in the garden our private gate will be shut so at least they cant escape or see whoever is using the path as the fence blocks all views.
this way hasn't interfered with their acsess and this way it has made our rear more enjoyable to use.
i hate them entering my home whenever they want, as far as im concerned the garden is part of my home, i cant use that part of my rear and the idea of a conservatory went out the window! but i have learnt that if they dont respect certain things, neither will i, fence what you can off (if you can) and put your own gate up with a lock, its very sad we have to resort to this type of thing and deeply wish row's were abolished but rules are rules .......

arborlad
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by arborlad » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:20 pm

Mattylad wrote:Put 2 gate closing springs on to make it close even faster.

That generally ends up with a smashed gate.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Sudynim
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Re: Child safety in rights of way

Post by Sudynim » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:52 pm

I can solve this. It won't be cheap, but you can't put a price on the life of a child.

You'll need to arrange for a specialist electrician to install access control. This should comprise an electrically-activated lock, with a release button mounted on the wall at each side of the gate - place the release buttons 6ft off the ground, out of reach of small children. 12v equipment will be needed for exterior deployment, I expect. You might wish to have the gate replaced with a larger, sturdier one before doing this, and ensuring that a spring closer or riser hinges are installed.

Then ask your electrician to wire an alarm chime and/or strobe which sounds in your home (kitchen or hallway is traditional) whenever the gate is open. You can then make sure that it hasn't been propped open, for example. The final touch would be a cctv installation overlooking the gate, so that you can see at a glance that it's safely shut.

So there you have it - your neighbours and their visitors can come and go as they wish, and your youngster will be safe. Complete peace of mind, and it should come in under £1000, or a lot less if you can diy it.

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