Change of usage to right of way

SmallWelshBarn
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Change of usage to right of way

Post by SmallWelshBarn » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:59 am

Little bit of a complex question and I have attached a map for ease of reference.
On the map the Blue land to the right is now owned by me. Blue and brown sold me the right hand land 5283 & 5787 when the land was sold of and an old barn was converted I was added to the road agreement as I became the principal road owner. Yellow land owns A 4M wide strip of land at the top this is marked in red this is a 60m long yellow land bought this to be able to access their home (rather than use a foot path from the rear of the property) this then joins in to the blue land owned by me.
A road agreement was drafted creating an easement over the two sections of road and setting out the liabilities etc no parking etc.
Each of the properties can be accessed via a foot path to the rear of the properties if needed and this was the original access prior to the road agreement being set up.
To complicate matters in between the yellow green and blue land lies a derelict cottage been empty since 1978 and is not registered with the land registry.
In recent years the green land has stolen derelict cottages land and built a two story garage on it etc To the annoyance of some of the neighbours this never actually bothered me as its a small plot in comparison to my 7acres. However the green land has been sold this year and the new owner is an utter dick and very rude he has crossed a number of lines with me. I have a foot path running along my fields he reported my pigs to the police as being aggressive they are not !!!!
So now here is the question the road agreement clearly defines each property and its boundaries the derelict property was never part of the road agreement and would as such have no right of access over my land nor yellow land who owns the red road.The derelict cottage would have to use a foot path from the rear not an easy path I might add.
I believe that the green land is now in breach of the road agreement and easement as they have expanded their plot size beyond that of what is defined in the map !!
Green land is now 25% bigger thus worth considerably more. I would love to say to the green land you are in breech of the deed you need to stop using the stolen land or charge him to amend the road agreement for as much as I can squeeze him for.
Side note people have tried to track down the derelict cottages owners for years and failed. No one has actually claimed adverse possession nor could they has we have always made sure of that !!!! The new guy has pissed me off so much, I instructed a company to find the owners or family who should rightfully own the derelict cottage this is been done and probate etc is under way LOL. So nasty neighbour will soon get a shock when he finds a chunk of his land is not actually his !!!!
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jonahinoz
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by jonahinoz » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:22 am

Hi,

Nice one!

May we ask who you instructed to trace the owners of the cottage. Do they specialise in this sort of thing?

John W

mr sheen
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by mr sheen » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:21 am

This is a case where you should find out your position before sticking your oar in. Let's hope the new owners of the derelict cottage are not even worse than the person currently annoying you.

From the info, and you may be able to clarify since it isn't absolutely clear, you own the land that the road passes over and the neighbour has a right of way over it via a deed. As long as he uses the road to access his land which can amount to him stepping 1 inch into the land defined on the deed, you won't be able to do anything about it. Even though he has expanded his plot, the original agreement to access the land identified still applies.

The derelict cottage land is not owned by you and you don't appear to have any legal interest in it, so this matter is not your concern.

Long and short of it...not much you can do. Having opened the can of worms with derelict cottage (at a cost to you!) let's hope this doesn't backfire since the new owner may well be a city type who has no respect for rights of way issues etc but may have very deep pockets to cause even more issues.

SmallWelshBarn
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by SmallWelshBarn » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:50 am

mr sheen wrote:This is a case where you should find out your position before sticking your oar in. Let's hope the new owners of the derelict cottage are not even worse than the person currently annoying you.

From the info, and you may be able to clarify since it isn't absolutely clear, you own the land that the road passes over and the neighbour has a right of way over it via a deed. As long as he uses the road to access his land which can amount to him stepping 1 inch into the land defined on the deed, you won't be able to do anything about it. Even though he has expanded his plot, the original agreement to access the land identified still applies.

The derelict cottage land is not owned by you and you don't appear to have any legal interest in it, so this matter is not your concern.

Long and short of it...not much you can do. Having opened the can of worms with derelict cottage (at a cost to you!) let's hope this doesn't backfire since the new owner may well be a city type who has no respect for rights of way issues etc but may have very deep pockets to cause even more issues.
The is mine as are the verges as defined by the current title deed maps also the wording of the deed makes this clear. The owners of the derelict cottage would have no right of access to it except via a very crap steep foot path and they would only be able to park about a 1/4 mile away ! So its land locked. The owners have indicated they don't want the cottage and the neighbour of the yellow land has indicated he wants to buy it. Even if yellow land buys it or even green land they both still needs my consent as it would be accessed via my land and I understanding they cant use it with out seeking my consent to amend the road agreement.

In regards to the cost of tracing down the heirs of the derelict cottage it cost me nothing. I gave the lead to an heir hunting company with all the relevant information to track down the heirs of the cottage. They make their money from the estate I also get a % for giving them the lead ;-) Happy days !

I think you are wrong to the point that I can't stop them. Whats the point of having the properties delineated on a map rather than using just the name.

This is taken from a very useful land dispute site. Situation 1 concerns two fields, 'A' and 'B' that are contiguous with each other.

A right of way over South Lane was granted to benefit the land in field 'A' at a time when field 'A' was owned by Mr Smith. Completely separately, a right of way over North Lane was granted to benefit the land in field 'B' at a time when field 'B' was owned by Mr Jones.

Mr Jones (or strictly speaking, field 'B') does not enjoy a right of way over South Lane and Mr Smith (or strictly speaking, field 'A') does not enjoy a right of way over North Lane.


At a later date, Mr Smith purchased field 'B', which is contiguous with field 'A'. Mr Smith now owns all of the land connecting the end of North Lane with the end of South Lane. However, Mr Smith is not, by law, allowed to use South Lane as a means of access to field 'B', nor is he allowed to use North Lane as a means of access to field 'A'.

The right of way over South Lane is enjoyed only by the land that was identified in the Deed of Grant as the dominant tenement, ie by field 'A'. Field 'B' is not a dominant tenement relative to South Lane, and so South Lane may not be used as a means of access to field 'B'. Similarly, field 'A' is not a dominant tenement in relation to North Lane.
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mr sheen
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by mr sheen » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:30 pm

What do you mean by 'principal' road owner? You are either the owner of the land over which the road passes or you just have rights over land that has the road passing over and along it, along with other people.

It is very rare for land to be land-locked nowadays. The derelict property would have been accessed at some point and there is a strip of land between the 2 pieces....what is/was this?

Smallwelshbarn, If this property is in Wales, you can search the Main Library in Aberystwyth, local council archives, main royal archives in Aberystwyth etc where you will find hoards of documents and aerial photos etc. etc since these organisations keep masses of old documents. If you follow the paper trail over the years, you may well find multiple tracks and drover routes across fields. In addition, as estates were divided all rights were passed on unless they were specifically excluded. Before you embark upon very expensive legal action where you have the burden of proof it is best to get all the local info because in Wales they are often not as expected where derelict and old properties are concerned. If you could clarify what you mean by principle road owner that would also help because this term also implies that the 'road' may be something different in wales.

SmallWelshBarn
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by SmallWelshBarn » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:16 pm

mr sheen wrote:What do you mean by 'principal' road owner? You are either the owner of the land over which the road passes or you just have rights over land that has the road passing over and along it, along with other people.

It is very rare for land to be land-locked nowadays. The derelict property would have been accessed at some point and there is a strip of land between the 2 pieces....what is/was this?

Smallwelshbarn, If this property is in Wales, you can search the Main Library in Aberystwyth, local council archives, main royal archives in Aberystwyth etc where you will find hoards of documents and aerial photos etc. etc since these organisations keep masses of old documents. If you follow the paper trail over the years, you may well find multiple tracks and drover routes across fields. In addition, as estates were divided all rights were passed on unless they were specifically excluded. Before you embark upon very expensive legal action where you have the burden of proof it is best to get all the local info because in Wales they are often not as expected where derelict and old properties are concerned. If you could clarify what you mean by principle road owner that would also help because this term also implies that the 'road' may be something different in wales.
As per my original post the red road is owned by the yellow land the road that carries on from the red road belongs two me.Yes the property is in Wales. I have all my deeds dating back 100 years for the various surrounding properties so I can see how the derelicts land has shrunk its only derelict as the owner died in 1978 and the property was missed out from her estate !!! The land locked property can only be accessed by various footpaths. The derelict cottage has no right for a car along the red road nor my road they can in-fact walk down my road as it has a foot path running down it that runs in from a forest. The red and blue roads were constructed in the 1980's by the owners of the yellow land and blue land constructing them. Before that they were simply a garden and a field belonging to each of the properties hence no one had a right of way over them.
Two land owners granted each other a right of way over each others land for access. The green land was included as they offered to pay towards the construction of the roads hence having an easement over both roads.
All of these properties were once accessed by a very narrow steep path not a ROW simple channels between the properties.

mugwump
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by mugwump » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:06 pm

On the latest OS maps all the roads/paths in that area appear to be public bridleways (not private paths that the landowner allows access). I suggest you check with your local council as to the actual classification of those roads that you believe that you own.

stufe35
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by stufe35 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:21 pm

Mugwumps. The op has said nothing to contradict your statement ? The status of public bridle way gives a right of way across a piece of land for limited purposes, it does not indicate who owns the land.

SmallWelshBarn
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by SmallWelshBarn » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:52 pm

mugwump wrote:On the latest OS maps all the roads/paths in that area appear to be public bridleways (not private paths that the landowner allows access). I suggest you check with your local council as to the actual classification of those roads that you believe that you own.
This getting away from the original question.
Please understand the information I am telling you is factually correct in relation to access and footpaths.

mugwump
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by mugwump » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:06 pm

I'm sorry but its not getting away from the original question, it is questioning whether your assertions as to what are the facts are correct as it may mean that that land actually does have access rights where you believe it doesn't.

SmallWelshBarn
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by SmallWelshBarn » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:19 pm

mugwump wrote:I'm sorry but its not getting away from the original question, it is questioning whether your assertions as to what are the facts are correct as it may mean that that land actually does have access rights where you believe it doesn't.
As I have previously stated all the properties can be accessed via narrow channels between each other and would not having to use the my land. The benefit from the blue and yellow lands right of way is it allows access by car.
So given that the owner of the green land has expanded his plot and has built a garage out side of the plans and uses my road now to access land that is not part of the road agreement he is therefore in breach of the road agreement I am in no doubt about that.
What I don't know is what to do ?
1. I could go to court to seek an injunction.
2. I could wait until the probate is finished for the derelict cottage perhaps even let him purchase the stolen so he can legalise his garages position then slap him with an injunction ;-)
3. Can I ask for a fee to alter the road agreement ?

Doing nothing is not an option as he has been aggressive extremely rude in the past he has dumped delivered timber on my verge with out even asking. He has reported my dog and my pigs to the police for being aggressive. He has superglued one of my locks on a gate that leads out to a forestry track & he has damaged fencing. He is so far over the line the line cant even be seen.

MacadamB53
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by MacadamB53 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:19 am

Hi SmallWelshBarn,

The red and blue roads were constructed in the 1980's by the owners of the yellow land and blue land constructing them. Before that they were simply a garden and a field belonging to each of the properties hence no one had a right of way over them.

does this mean that prior to the 1980s all properties were accessed by footpath only?

kind regards, Mac

SmallWelshBarn
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by SmallWelshBarn » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:00 am

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi SmallWelshBarn,

The red and blue roads were constructed in the 1980's by the owners of the yellow land and blue land constructing them. Before that they were simply a garden and a field belonging to each of the properties hence no one had a right of way over them.

does this mean that prior to the 1980s all properties were accessed by footpath only?

kind regards, Mac

Yes prior to 1980 they were only accessed by a path and not a registered foot path.

ukmicky
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by ukmicky » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:02 am

What do you mean road agreement and easement ?

From what I gather the garages are on the derelict cottage land that has no easement rights to use the road you own.If that is so he can use the easement to drive onto his original plot because the law will still consider the original land to have a separate identity to the land with the garages. Can he then travel from his original plot onto the other land with the garages is more complicated

He could try and argue ancillary rights where the law allows you to use a easement to gain access to other land that has no easement rights provided the use of the other land is only for the benefit of the dominant land, not the other land and the use is only for a minor purpose . However the garages benefit the other land more than they do the dominant land that owns the easement as the use of the garages raises the value of the other land quite a bit as it is still considered as a separate plot and parking cars on the other land is also not a minor use.

Harris vs flowers is the case that first set the precedent that said what he is doing is unlawful but that has now been superseded by newer cases like Giles v Tarry [2012] EWCA which I believe is the current leading case on the subject. Therefore the moment he puts his cars in the garage the use of your road to get to his land with his cars becomes trespass even if he moves them in a day later . So yes you can do something about it and could if you wanted gain an injunction due to him using the road to access land that has not right to benefit from the easement.

Did they gain planning permission to build the garages , I would be surprised if they did because the derelict cottage land would have lost any permitted development rights if the cottage has been derelict for many years.


The longer you wait the harder it will become to get the outcome you want if you were to go to court. You also would need before you got to court to hire a solicitor who can go through all the property deeds ,just in case you are missing something important.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Collaborate
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Re: Change of usage to right of way

Post by Collaborate » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:04 am

I’m afraid your plan isn’t very helpful. Using different colours for each plot and defining land by fully enclosing it would help.

Anyway, assuming the neighbour has to drive over part of the road that you own in order to reach the new garage, they have no right to do that and you can make an appointment with m’ learned friends to see about getting an injunction if they won’t agree to buy a ROW from you.

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