On what basis is the property owner applying to the land registry for ownership of the bridge?
Have you seen the deeds to her property and does the bridge potentially come within that?
It would actually cost a fortune to remove it and replace it with a ford!
Do you have proof that the Local Authority have maintained the bridge and the road over it?
How long have you and your predecessors enjoyed the right-of-way down this private track and over the bridge?
Any fine detail is always useful to give a comprehensive answer to your question. Best wishes
Thank you. She cannot claim adverse possession unless she has occupied the land (which the bridge is on) without consent or objection are not in secret for at least 10 years if the land is registered or 12 years if unregistered at the Land Registry.
She cannot claim adverse possession without lying because other people have used the bridge for many years.
You could make a Freedom of Information Request asking them how many times they have visited the bridge to inspect it and how many times they have carried work out on it in the last 10 years. Hopefully, they will be truthful!
Even assuming that she did own the bridge, if she did not own the land on the other side of the bridge, her ownership only goes to the centre of the riverbed and hence, she could only own half of it so she would have to own both sides of the river to have any chance of owning the bridge if it is in her deeds.
Also, if she does own it, then provided you and your predecessors have used it for 20 years or more for access, you can claim the right to continue to use the bridge under the Prescription Act.
If she starts to demolish the bridge, you could make an emergency application to court for an injunction to stop the work and that, if done by a solicitor attaching a certificate of urgency, could be in court within a few hours.
If she is attempting adverse possession the existing landowner (if known) would be written to but there is no harm in sending your own letter saying that you object to any application for registration of this bridge in the name of Mrs X on the basis that you have a long-standing right of access over it.
It would help if you attached a copy of the deeds of her house with the bridge adjacent so that the land Registry can see exactly where the bridge is. Provided her property is registered at the land Registry you can get the title plan and her deeds from this link.
the documents will cost you £3 each.
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The boundary is in the middle of the river unless there is any indication plan or deed to the contrary. It’s a presumption in the absence of anything else. Therefore, if the bridge is wholly on someone else’s land, she could possibly try to claim adverse possession of it but I can’t see how she could do that when she has not had exclusive use.
You are correct therefore that the markings on the plan would “trump” the middle of the river presumption.
It doesn’t matter whether you have only been there for 8-10 years or not. It is the total length of time that you and your predecessors and their predecessors all added together have been using this which would give them the right to claim a right-of-way or not.
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Thank you. Yes, it includes visitors to the site and the owners of the site.
Using it, just one person, once per day would be sufficient to claim the right.
If this is public highway, then she cannot claim adverse possession of it without stopping up order. She will not get that based upon the circumstances outlined.
If any of this land belongs to you, and you have only just purchased it, including any part of the track, then your solicitor will do a First Registration of it.
As soon the land registry get an objection to an adverse possession application, they throw it out and if the claimant wants to pursue it, they have to do it through the land tribunal which can be expensive and risky.
What you would do with regard to the land is file an objection to 1st registration on the basis that you have the right over the land. You can also register a class D(iii) land charge in respect of an equitable easement over the land if it’s not registered. You would probably be better entrusting this to the solicitor that dealt with your purchase.