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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10536
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My neighbour has a right of access through my back garden 'with

Resolved Question:

My neighbour has a right of access through my back garden 'with or without motor vehicle' and I am legally bound to maintain this access at my cost. In law does 'motor vehicle' necessarily mean a car or could it mean any motor vehicle i.e. a motorbike?
I am asking because consider the access too narrow to accommodate a car.
Also the access boundary is comprised of an earthen bank upon which grows an old hedge (which is part of the appeal of this conservation area). This bank is the boundary between my property and ANOTHER neighbours driveway, and prevents that driveway from collapse, since it is elevated above my land. As part of the disputed access width is taken up by this bank and hedge could my neighbour insist I remove it to increase the usable width of their access?
For your information the access width at the narrowest point is 2.85 meters. 1.5 meters of this is taken up by the hedge and bank, leaving only 1.35 meters usable width at present.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. The first thing to realise is that "motor vehicle" includes a motorbike and things such as a tractor or three wheel car. So, the fact the access is too narrow for a car does not prevent it being used by a motor vehicle. So, one of the reasons the clause in the description of the right of way is the way it is, is because it probably always was too narrow for a car.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. The second point is that you are not under an obligation in law to widen this right of way to the detriment of the support this boundary currently provides for your neighbour's driveway. A right of way is only what is possible. It does not extend to widening the natural right of way so as to endanger the support of another property.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. The third point is that the right of way only is a right to pass and repass. it gives no right in the land over which the right of way passes. So it is within your absolute discretion what you want to do with this land, so long as a right of way exists. This means that you can decide to leave the bank, which is part of the conservation area, in situ, whether the owner of the right of way wants this approach or not.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
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