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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have a gate into a field behind our house. We use this gate

Resolved Question:

We have a gate into a field behind our house. We use this gate every day to walk the dog and to walk to our local village, pub etc. As the house was originally a farm workers cottage I presume the gate was access was for the farmworker to reach the farm by the most direct route (across two fields) and therefore has been in place since the house was built in 1955. It is not a public right of way but joins a public footpath in the same field within about 20yards. A developer has bought the house next door to use and also a rectangular patch of the field which effectively blocks our access. I doubt he will get planning permission to build on the land but he could turn it into an orchard or extension of the garden. Do I have any legal right to continue to use this gate and cross his patch of land? I would be happy to skirt around the edge of the patch to avoid going straight through the middle if necessary. We have owned the house for over 25 years so it would be a big blow for us to be cut off from the fields as the road to the front of us is very busy and dangerous to walk along as there is no path. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.Just to be clear have you used the gate for over 20 years please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then what you have is a prescriptive right of way as per the Prescriptions Act 1832. This means you have a right and they can't block it. This right becomes absolute after 40 years.You need to get a Solicitor to write, set out your position and ask that you use the gate and land otherwise you will go to Court.If they refuse then you can issue proceedings using form N1:http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n001-eng.pdfAnd N16a:http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n016a-eng.pdfThe Court will list the matter down and decide whether to make an order giving access. If the Court does and the owner still blocks it, this could be contempt of Court which he may be warned, fined or sent to prison.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi AlexThank you for your reply.Can you explain to me what the difference is when the right becomes "absolute".Thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You gain the right after 20 years. This can be limited by the Court. The right becomes absolute, meaning it cant be interfered with after 40 years. Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Is the new landowner required to put a gate in his newly fenced land to give me access out of it into the field?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
He cant block existing access. Does that clarify?If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex
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