Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

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jardinier
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Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jardinier » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:26 pm

I am based in North London. My terraced house (Edwardian) has a long, narrow back garden (approx 180 feet long, and as wide as the house)

The bottom 2/3 of the garden adjoins council land attached to a low-rise block of council flats (3 storeys). There is a walkway between the flats and our garden/boundary.

The bottom of the garden backs onto the garden of another terraced house on the road that runs parallel to our own. The entrance to the flats is also on this road.

I'm considering the possibility of building at the end of our garden: either a house OR an exercise studio (I teach exercise).

BUT, in order to do so, I'd need to obtain access rights. Presumably by buying right of way from the council?

I am looking for advice on how I might go about this, and how much it would be likely to cost? (How is the price calculated?)

I tried googling this but didn't manage to find anything pertaining to my particular situation.

Please note - there's plenty of space for an entrance on the adjoining land at the front of the flats, which have gardens plus a few parking spaces. I think it could work very well.

The block of flats is set back from the road (approx 30 metres), so any property I was able to build would not have direct road frontage. (I don't know if that matters). The front entrance to the property would be the same distance from the road as the flats' front entrance.

I'd be grateful for any help on this question. Thanks in advance!

jonahinoz
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jonahinoz » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:45 am

Hi Jardinier,

My back lane is owned by the LA, and includes a couple of parking areas. There are obviously pedestrian ROWs, but I suspect not vehicle ROWs for the general public.

I frequently chat with an old codger (affectionate term) who walks his JRT up the lane. He told me that he had built his bungalow, probably quite a number of years ago, and had to pay for vehicular rights to access his garage, which opens onto one of the car parking areas. The LA charged him £5,000.

This in a small town, close to Kettering in Northamptonshire, so presumably a lot cheaper than London. As I said, I don't know how long ago he built his bungalow, but I can ask next time I see him.

I suspect that the LA will value access to the rear of your property as a percentage of the increase in value of your property after development. They may work on the potential value of what could be built there, not what you intend to build.

Ask your local councillor who you should contact. I doubt that yours will be the first query like this. If the flats are owned by the LA, you can ask for a copy of the conveyance from when they bought the land. It's a public document. See how much they paid for the land, and when. Whether that will give you a bargaining chip, is another matter. LAs say they are strapped for cash, and a little something is better than a big nothing. Vehicle access to your rear garden can benefit nobody but you, so is worth nothing to anybody else.

John W

pilman
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by pilman » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:48 pm

There is a rule of thumb based on a court case, which values a right of way as between one third and one half of the value of the plot created once a right of way allows access to it.

The case was Stokes v Cambridge City Council and involved a valuation when a compulsory purchase order was placed on the right of way to allow development of land owned by the council.

Every surveyor employed in your Council's Estates Division will know about this precedent, so don't expect a cheap resolution to an application that will need to be made to the Estates Division or Property Division, whichever your local council calls the department that deals with its land-holdings.

The last time I asked our council about buying land it owned, I met a surveyor on site and then waited for a response. Because it was a small piece of land with very little value, I was told it wasn't worth the council time to deal with me.

I would think you may get a prompt response because the value will be based on the value of a plot in London.

If you think that the Council's Local Plan allows a new dwelling in a back garden of a terrace then expect to be quoted quite a large sum of money if the council did agree to grant a right of way.

I recently saw a plot in Bedfordshire that had been formally valued at £240K once a single dwelling was granted permission for the plot. That would have meant a payment of between 80K to 120K if it had needed its own right of way to access it.

In North London, depending on which area, I should imagine the figures would be quite considerably higher.

If you were just considering a building that could be used as an exercise studio, provided you have a pedestrian access alongside the house that allows direct access to the back garden, you may be able to build an out-building that could be designed using materials that can be carried to the back garden to allow construction on site.

An outbuilding would be permitted development, although if it was intended to be used for business purposes a full planning application would be needed.

Then access will only be for pedestrians but it will mean you already control all the land without the need for any right of way to be granted.

It's worth thinking through all possible options.

jonahinoz
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jonahinoz » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:13 am

There is a rule of thumb based on a court case, which values a right of way as between one third and one half of the value of the plot created once a right of way allows access to it.

Hi Pillman,

Thankyou for that answer. It's nice to know that there is a documented policy for calculating the value of such easements.

Would the valuation vary according to what Jardinier proposes ... would a fitness studio increase the value of the land more than just the right to park a car, or caravan thereon? In which case, would/should the LA grant permission limiting the use of the land only for parking, without business use?

John W

jdfi
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jdfi » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:34 am

There is an alternative rationale. Some changes were made to permitted development a couple of years ago.

Schedule 2, Part 2 'minor operations' Class B 'means of access to a highway'

Also read part 2 Class A 'gate'

and part 1 class F 'hard surface'

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015 ... ule/2/made

I think I'm saying that if you have the luxury of time, starting out with a gateway onto this council land (and a drive at the bottom of your garden) seems a good starting point.

jardinier
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jardinier » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:49 pm

Thanks Pilman & John W

My garden has no side pedestrian access at all - buidling ach side of my terrace - hence me needing right of way.

I did hear anecdotally that Right of Way is calculated at a third of the estimated value of the LAND. (As opposed to the value of any proposed DEVELOPMENT).

Otherwise it's a chicken & egg situation. i.e. Can't apply for planning permission without Right of Way! So where is the 'development'?

Planning permission certainly not a given.

In the expensive scenario outlined by Pilman, surely the Council will cut off its nose to spite its face, and get no money at all ...

jdfi
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jdfi » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:16 pm

jardinier wrote:Thanks Pilman & John W
Unkind

jardinier
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jardinier » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:49 am

jdfi wrote:
jardinier wrote:Thanks Pilman & John W
Unkind
I do beg your pardon jdfl, I was rushing and didn't realise there was a 3rd person commenting. Thank you too 8)

jardinier
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jardinier » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:56 am

P.S. I do have the luxury of time :)

I'd definitely be seeking access for a gate (in my fence/boundary) - but not a drive because there just isn't provision/space for this.

The flats (and my proposed gate) are set back approx 30 metres from the road. The land at the front between the flats and the road is mainly garden, with a few parking spaces (for residents of the flats).

So I would be seeking pedestrian access.

jdfi
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jdfi » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:13 pm

jardinier wrote:P.S. I do have the luxury of time :)

I'd definitely be seeking access for a gate (in my fence/boundary) - but not a drive because there just isn't provision/space for this.

The flats (and my proposed gate) are set back approx 30 metres from the road. The land at the front between the flats and the road is mainly garden, with a few parking spaces (for residents of the flats).

So I would be seeking pedestrian access.
Lets start by getting that put in - based on PD - and see what happens.

Is there no chance that a small car would fit?

pilman
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by pilman » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:06 pm

Lets start by getting that put in - based on PD - and see what happens.
This poster wants to use land belonging to the council as a right of way to reach her garden.

I can't see how there is permitted development to create a right of way over someone else's land, or was this last post suggesting putting in a gate will not bring to the attention of the Council that a right of way may soon be claimed?

jdfi
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jdfi » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:17 am

pilman wrote:
Lets start by getting that put in - based on PD - and see what happens.
This poster wants to use land belonging to the council as a right of way to reach her garden.

I can't see how there is permitted development to create a right of way over someone else's land, or was this last post suggesting putting in a gate will not bring to the attention of the Council that a right of way may soon be claimed?
Council land implied to me some form of path existed at the bottom?

Happy to have got the wrong end of the stick though.

mugwump
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by mugwump » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:52 am

jdfi wrote:
pilman wrote:
Lets start by getting that put in - based on PD - and see what happens.
This poster wants to use land belonging to the council as a right of way to reach her garden.

I can't see how there is permitted development to create a right of way over someone else's land, or was this last post suggesting putting in a gate will not bring to the attention of the Council that a right of way may soon be claimed?
Council land implied to me some form of path existed at the bottom?

Happy to have got the wrong end of the stick though.
I read as being the council owned land that the council flats are built on from the initial post

jdfi
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Re: Buying Right of Way to Garden/Building plot from Council

Post by jdfi » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:00 am

mugwump wrote: I read as being the council owned land that the council flats are built on from the initial post
Is there any way to find out whether there is a public footpath or similar nearby? I note that in London there is no requirement for councils to keep definitive maps.

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