1) My neighbour bought his leasehold property in the mid-1980s and I bought mine in 2004. A month or so after I moved in, we jointly purchased the freehold.
2) Yes. I will try to describe the geography. Our property is an end of terrace house at the end of the road. For all the houses in the road, the back gardens extend to a private right of way. The gardens of the houses in the next parallel road share the private right of way. Both ends of the right of way are gated where they give onto the roads at right angles. Our house is an end-terrace at the end of the road. A portion of land carved out at the bottom of our garden has been used for many years as a builder's yard. It gives onto the road at right angles to ours and has a postcode different from ours. This is the small plot which has a separate freehold title and belongs to the person who is claiming our land. It is approximately. The land at issue is the piece of the garden which does still extend to the same boundary on the right of way as everyone else's in the road. It is approximately 3 metres x 6 metres.
There is a fence between the leasehold property and the garden next door; a fence (renewed by the person claiming the land in the summer of 2013 - we now realise as a pre-emptive move) on the boundary with the right of way and on the third side it is defined by the back of the double garage which stands at the rear boundary of the builder's yard.
3) The garage was there when my co-freeholder bought his flat. The two fences have recently been renewed but, with the exception of the moving (by the claimant) of the gate into the right of way from its original central position to one adjoining the fence with the next door garden, remain in their original positions.
4) The reason for the claim is to facilitate the building of a house on the plot which is not large enough without (or even with!) the 2+ metres of our garden.
The justification is the Land Registry title plan which appears to show the land belonging to the garden as narrower than it is which the claimant 'proves' that our land only amounts to the width of a path alongside the fence with next door. (Hence the moving of the gate!) We have copied to the claimant an explanation from the Land Registry that the plans are only a guide. It has made no difference.
I hope this makes sense to you.