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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10409
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My neighbours Guest properties wanted to own a piece of Common/Highway

Customer Question

My neighbours Guest properties wanted to own a piece of Common/Highway land to allow for parking for the Guest house Properties. I objected to the Land Registry and the application was refused. Planning Permission was granted for parking and the Dept of Transport allowed the land ,part of the highway to be Stopped up. Acondition of Planning Consent was that a 2metre strip be constructe to allow for public access to an adjacent lane. The Guest House owner has now applied to th Land Registrar for Adverse Ownership of the land-what does this mean and what can I do.
Thanks in anticipation.
Mrs PM Holmes
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
1. Dear Mrs Holmes, Adverse possession or Adverse ownership as you call it, is the process whereby one person claims ownership to certain lands based upon possession for a period longer than 11 years. Nowadays, it is only possible to claim adverse possession to unregistered land, unless in the case of registered land, the land was possessed from before 1992 and there were 11 years possession prior to 2003, when adverse possession was abolished in relation to registered land. Here the land concerned is obviously registered land and you should object to the adverse possession (squatter's rights) being claimed as it is no longer possible to claim adverse possession to registered land and also because the claim for adverse possession did not exist in 2003 when adverse possession to registered land was abolished in England & Wales.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
2. Be aware that your neighbour's claim is weak, very weak. He would have needed to have fenced off this land and obtained "exclusive possession" to the land in order to have obtained adverse possession. Here there has been no fencing off of the land so there is no adverse possession. So this should be your third ground of objection to this claim for adverse possession.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
3. If there is any further issue concerning the claim of adverse possession, I will be happy to help. Please Rate the Answer as unless you Rate the Answer your Expert receives no payment for answering your Question.
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10409
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
Buachaill and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear BuachaillI have received an answer to my objection to the adverse possession question, from the Land Registry,Wales Officeas follows-"tHIS IS AN APPLICATION FOR FIRST REGISTRATION (I.E. ADVERSE Possessionof unregistered land) and the 2002 Land Registration Act did not change the law relating to adverse possession of unregistered land, We are now proceedingwith the dispute process puerly on the basis that questions about sufficient exclusivity are not groundless, Although we cannot say that such arguments will ultimately succeed" - You will remember that this land was stopped up by the Highway Authority and has been used to my knowledge by me and pedestrians for some 50 years to access an adjoining ,footpath.Planning Permission has been given for Guest house car parking provided a 2 metre strip is left for pedestrians
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
adjacent to the carriageway.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
4. If the land is unregistered land, then adverse possession can be claimed to it. In my first paragraph, I stated that it is only possible to claim adverse possession to unregistered land. Here, obviously, as it is unregistered land, adverse possession can be claimed to it. However, your neighbour would have had to have fenced it off in order to claim adverse possession. Merely using it is not sufficient. So you should still contest the registration of it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
DearCustomer
Sir thank you very much for your previous advice. If my neighbours gain adverse possession of the piece of land in front of their property and adjacent to my access/exit-they haverecently gained planning permission to park guest house cars on the land provided they construct a 2metre strip for pedestrian use adjacent to the carriageway. They have also gained a stopping up order for the land from the Highway Authority.. If they get ownership awarded, despite my objection, and on top ofthese permissions-what happens? do they still have to abide by the planning permissions conditions or can they enclose the land. What they stand to gain through ownership I do not know!!-
Best regards
PM Holmes (Mrs)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Waiting reply to my follow up question "If my neighbours gain adverse possession" -Mrs PM Holmes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Waiting for the answer from Buachaille to my follow up question yesterday- "Sir thank you very much for your previous advice, if my neighbours gain adverse possession of the piece of land" etc. etc Please note I am far from expert on my computer Please E-mail me when when your answer has been sent-Mrs PM Holmes.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
5. Dear Mrs PM Holmes, I am sorry for the delay in responding. If your neighbours gain ownership of this strip, then that is their property and they can then fence if off and prevent others using it. However, insofar as it is part of the highway, there is a right of way over it and they cannot impede the use by others, including you, of the right of way. However, if they claim ownership successfully of the strip, be prepared for a subsequent row about the extent to which their new property can be used for a right of way.
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
6. The planning permission is also effective to allow your neighbours park guest house cars on the land. However, this will not prevent your use of the land as a means of passage. Be aware that planning permission is subject to all existing uses and rights of the land over which planning permission is given. Planning permission merely licences activity. It does not mean that all activity carried on pursuant to the planning permission is thereby lawful.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dear Buachaille-Thank you for your, Please excuse this disabled old ladys (75) confusion.-First the land was part of the Highway recently my neighbours obtained a Stopping up order from the Highway Authority (so is it still part of the Highway with a Right of Way?) and would this still apply should they gain ownership(when they can fence off the land!!).-Second Must my neighbours also conform to the Planning Permission condition that a 2 metre strip be constructedfor pedestrian use? or is this nullified by ownership and not conditional?-Sir you see my confusion, Example of my thought pattern-My neighbour gets ownership of the land by adverse possession but will not have to abide by a planning condition (the construction of a 2 metre pedestrian strip )-I have a bungalow and should I need an extension I would need planning approval and have to abide by the planning conditions imposed. -My objection to the adverse possession of the land is solely that this unregistered land has never been fenced off and that a I and otheds have always been able to use it to access the adjoining Naylor Lane without having to walk on the carriageway. There has never been an exclusive use by my neighbours.- As a lay-person it all seems very complex-Costs which may be awarded against me at a Tribunal are an obstacle to the Tribunal route-what is your advice on the strength of my objection??
Best regards
PM Holmes
Expert:  Buachaill replied 1 year ago.
7. Firstly, I think your neighbours have very poor prospects of gaining adverse possession to this strip because they have never had "exclusive possession". Secondly, even if they did, they did they would have to abide by the planning permission requirement and leave a 2 metre strip for pedestrian use as required by the planning permission. Thirdly, the stopping up order does not improve their chances of gaining adverse possession. It merely shows they did not have exclusive possession of it when it was used as a highway. Finally, my own view is that your objection will win out in the end. I don't see your neighbours gaining adverse possession to this piece of land.

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