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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 814
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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A footpath in our village is used by the occupiers of 4 bungalows

Resolved Question:

A footpath in our village is used by the occupiers of 4 bungalows to allow them access to other parts of the village including the local post box. For some time it has been unusable by them, as a hedge has grown out into the path, making it impossible for them to use that path. Adjacent to the path is the Highway, which, due to traffic, the bungalow occupiers do not like to use. As Clerk to our Parish Council, I asked the Local Council to cut back the hedge, which they did most efficiently. The landowner beyond the hedge is complaining bitterly they were not informed before the work was done, and that it should not have been done due to birds nesting in the hedge: in fact, the local Council checked this point before proceeding, and there were no nesting birds in the outgrowth. The owners have now said that they will consult their solicitors. Could you please confirm that we had the right to restore the footpath to usable state: it is a hard core footpath which anyone wishing to use has been unable to do so for some time. The owners of the hedge have also previously failed to cut it back, some 3 years ago, and created a fuss when the work was carried out by a third party. The users of the path who live in the bungalows are all OAPs, and there are other people who also use it. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

Am I right in thinking that the footpath is effectively a pavement adjacent to a public road? Is there any reason to think that the land owner owns the land on which the footpath is located?

Customer:

I am not always at my computer! You are correct in your surmise that the footpath is a pavement adjacent to a public road, and the land owner does not own the land on which the footpath is located.

Customer:

Do I now wait for a response?

LondonlawyerJ :

In that case the local council was within it's rights to cut back the hedge as far as the landowner's boundaries. This would presumably cover cutting back to enable the path to be used. If the hedge is invading the footpath from the landowner's land there is an argument that he has allowed his bush to spread onto the footpath and should have taken steps to prevent this. It is not a great argument but it is one you can use in correspondence with him if you wish. People are forever threatening to consult with their solicitors but this person appears to have suffered no harm and if his hedge has encroached on the public path if anything he should be grateful someone else has cut it back.

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