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So you are almost at 20 years?
This indeed not a police matter.
We have used the land for nearly 40 years and have had possessory title since 29th July 2003. Unfortunately the title deed did not show that we had vehicular access to the land but our solicitor at the time said it was not a problem and we should just continue to use the land as we had done previously. We only involved the police as the neighbour has a history of violence and has been arrested by the police when he was violent toward them. We did not want a confrontation without protection from the police but wanted to gain access as we usually did to our property.
Has he ever objected to your use of the access in the last 40 years?
You need 20 years uninterrupted use before you can get an easement by prescrption.
We have had vehicular access for all of the past 40 years and the neighbour has not objected to our accessing our land. He has lived next door to us for 13 years. We have certainly had more than the 20 years uninterrupted use and when we applied for Adverse Possession we supplied sworn affidavids from neighbours that we had accessed the land for what was then 30 years unchallenged. Unfortunately the Vehicle access clause was not listed on the deed. As I mentioned previously our solicitor at the time did not feel it was a problem as it could be corrected when we applied for Absolute title.
Provided it isnt common land and you can prove 20 years use you can claim an easemnt by prescription. http://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en& ;sugexp=les%3B&gs_rn=4&gs_ri=psy-ab&pq=access%20vehicle%20prescription&cp=40&gs_id=2r&xhr=t&q=access+vehicle+prescription+right+of+way&es_nrs=true&pf=p&biw=1511&bih=709&sclient=psy-ab&oq=access+vehicle+prescription+right+of+way&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=a6b372b0509e79be
If he wont formalise it or remove the bollard you are faced with application to court for an injunction. You can ask court to award costs against him.
The period of posessory title is immaterial. It is lenght of use of access which is relevant
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Can we apply for easement ourselves. Is it relatively simpleor do we need a solicitor to draw up paperwork?
There is no legal reason why you cannot do it yourself. But then again there is no medical reason why you cannot take your own appendix out.
It might be better using a solicitor , particularly in view of your experience with this abusive neighbour.