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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have walked my dogs for 30 years in the park at the rear

Resolved Question:

I have walked my dogs for 30 years in the park at the rear of my house.
The district council have a dog control order whitch requires all dogs to be on leads exept in a small area recently fenced off for dogs.
Do I have any rights under common law to freely carry on my 30 year practice?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

So that I am clear, you are not being stopped walking your dog, it just needs to be on a lead?

Customer:

Yes where since 1931when Rushden Hall Park Estate was purchased by the urban council and specifiede at the opening ceremony that the Park and hall were purchases for the benefit of the people of Rushden and not for the benefit of the council.

Customer:

The council introduced the dog control order this July that requires all dogs on leads exept in a 5 acre fenced rough area which has a disclaimer of any liability by the council within this lead free area.

Customer:

I could for 30 years, prior to the order, walk from my back gate into the park and to the town centre or go to the swings with my daughters and grandchildren with my dogs.

Customer:

This is no longer possible as the dog off lead area is away to the side and as the park is enclosed and has 5 gates it can only be accessed with the dogs on leads to this dog area.

Alex Watts :

Did you contest the Order or raise it with your Councillor please?

Customer:

Yes verbally, at Rushden Town Council offices with negative response and last week with the Mayor and councillors when they were posing and back slapping each other for the award of a green flag status for the park. The park was empty during this flag award where previously from opening to closing was used by dog walkers who were the majority users of the park.

Alex Watts :

But do you still have access to the area without a dog?

Customer:

Is there any right under practice and custom etc. under common law or any precedent to continue free unfettered access previously enjoyed ?

Alex Watts :

Do you still have access without the dog?

Customer:

Yes acess is open to the public 7 to 9 summer 7 to 7 winter and gates are locked outside these hours.

Alex Watts :

Ok - you would only have a prescriptive right of way if you can establish 20 years use, which you can

Alex Watts :

The difficulty with that is you are not being denied access

Alex Watts :

The Council are not stopping you accessing the land, so you can't use the prescriptive right of way argument

Alex Watts :

As for custom as practice this mainly applies to employment law, for example

Alex Watts :

an informal 10-minute coffee break at 11am

Alex Watts :

Therefore you are only left with challenging the order itself

Alex Watts :

You can do this through your local Councillor as they are elected by you and there to do your bidding. He/she is your public servant

Alex Watts :

You can write and complain to the Council and set out your position

Alex Watts :

When they respond you can take it to the Ombudsman

Alex Watts :

They offer a free, independent service and are available at: www.lgo.org.uk

Alex Watts :

There is a Judicial Review Court option but that is very expensive and will cost £5000 just to get it heard

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No thanks, ***** ***** thought it was worth checking,

Alex Watts :

I am sorry its not better news but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my answer before you go

Alex Watts :

If the system wont let you or you need more help please click reply

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