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Category: Law
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I have a deed of grant of right of way affecting 4 properties

Customer Question

I have a deed of grant of right of way affecting 4 properties to access garages, the deed is dependent on a similar deed with the council as we have to use a parcel of council land between the highway and the private ROW. The originators of the deed witnessed in 1966 decided some 30 years ago that the charges from the council to use their land was unreasonable and decided to end the agreement between themselves and the council and no further payments were made and the council withdrew the access rights enjoyed up to that point. One of the dominant parties is now looking to excercise their vehicular ROW across the neighbouring properties even though the council ROW is no longer enjoyed and therefore access to the highway is not possible. The council land is in a very bad state and has not been maintained as a ROW since payments from the residents ceased. Where do I start to establish the councils position, the other 3 residents do not wish to use the ROW can we refuse to contribute to re establishing an agreement with the council, can the council refuse to re establish the ROW if circumstances have changed say eviriomentally?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.


Hi there,


Thanks for your enquiry.


Just so that I am 100% clear- so is it you or your neighbour who wishes to enter into negotiations with the Council with a view to getting a right of way over the Council land?


Presently, aren't the garages being used then, and if so why not?


I look forward to hearing from you.


Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ther are 4 properties involved no 81,79,77 &75 no 75 has decided she wants to use her garage and wants to excercise her ROW. The garages situated to the rear of the properties have been disused some 30 years due to the original owners who created the deed deciding that the council charges for the use of the council land had risen to an unacceptable level and the council withdrew the right to cross their land due to the parties refusing to pay the maintenance, therefore the garages are storage facilities only due to the lack of vehicular access to the private ROW across the garden from 81-75. The access point from the council land is no 81 crossing 79, 77 and finally 75. Only no 75 is wanting to use this ROW. We nos 81,79 &77have requested to meet with the council after trying to establish how to prove to no 75 that we no longer have use of the council land, several calls to get clarification have been unsuccessful and finally head of services contacted my newborn no 77 and offered a meeting to discuss the problem, we have no idea what steps no 75 has taken beyond contacting us to tell us to clear the brambles that have established themselves over the years in the 'shared area ' (Private ROW)beyond the garages at the bottom of our gardens. This area falls outside of our garden boundaries and due to never having been used for vehicles or pedestrian access in the 12 years I have been here non of us have bothered with it indeed overgrown as it is it affords us with a natural buffer from unwanted visitors over our back fences. The council land has gates across it at the access point to no 81and my neighbour at no 77 who was on the deed informed us the council had padlocked them when they refused to pay. That property changed hands 3 years ago and they were also informed the council land which is the access ' road' was no longer a ROW and that they could not therefore access their garage. Would a new local search provide that same information?
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.




Thanks for your reply.


As regards the Council land, as the ROW has been extinguished, none of you have a right to use it unless the Council are prepared to grant a new ROW to one or more of you.


As a ROW "attaches" to a property, it is up to No. 75 to approach the Council in this regard and try and agree on what lump sum, if any, needs to be paid to the Council and the amount of maintenance charge, in return for the Council granting a ROW. These amounts, like in the past, are going to be very much at the discretion of the Council, as they own the land and can therefore demand whatever sums they think No. 75 will be willing to pay.


A local search will only reveal what land is adopted (ie maintained) by the Council. If you wish to establish if No. 75 has already been granted a new ROW, you would need to do a search at the Land Registry. This can be done on line- by obtaining a copy of the Deeds to No. 75 (called "Official Copies of Title") and these will show if the owner of No. 75 has entered into a new Deed of Grant of a ROW with the Council.


As regards the private ROW immediately behind your rear fences, I am not sure if each of you own your own section, but if you do, your Deeds will probably be showing that No. 75 has a ROW over each of these sections. If there is therefore a question mark as to whether you are under a duty to clear any vegetation, the answer would be yes, as you would be under a duty to make sure that No. 75 can exercise their ROW over the private ROW.


I hope this answers your question, and if so, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.


Feel free to ask for further clarification, if need be.


Kind Regards


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just to clarify then if the council do not re estastablish a right of way over their land and the section of private ROW that belongs to the properties therefore does not therefore go anywhere except to a gate that leads to the council land and therefore no vehicles can get to it would we only be required to clear a path big enough for pedestrian access so that no 75 may walk up and down behind our gardens? And yes we do all own the land the deed was created in 1966 between all parties at that time. As the original deed was between all 4 properties can then no 75 come to an individual arrangement if she so wishes and be soley responsible for paying them? The original deed mentions we all pay equal amounts to the council,?
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.


Hi again,


If No. 75 doesn't obtain a new ROW with the Council, then you are correct in that you wouldn't need to clear the whole of your section of the private ROW as the land would be landlocked and therefore no vehicular access would exist.


Even though the original Deed was entered into by all 4 properties, any one or more of the properties could now re-negotiate with the Council as regards a new ROW over the Council land, but as you say, if only 75 does, then he would have to pay the full maintenance costs.


I hope this clarifies matters.


Kind Regards


Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.


Hi there,


Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.


If not, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback so I may get credited for my time.


Best Wishes


Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.

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