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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25469
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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A developer who has purchased a restaurant in our village High

Customer Question

A developer who has purchased a restaurant in our village High Street has obtained planning permission to build 3 houses in the car park of the restaurant The restaurant itself is in the High Street which is a public highway adopted by the County highways authority, but the development in the car park is accessed by a lane off the High Street, the lane is unadopted and a public footpath. The restaurant car park was accessed through a 5 bar gate behind the restaurant at the end of the unadopted lane. I presume the developer has access rights to the site through the existing car park entrance
But does the developer have any rights of access further down the lane where he has ripped out some hedges to give him access, given that the restaurant he purchased in the High Street ?
and can the local planning authority grant this right of access as part of their planning approval process?
The unadopted lane has a tarmac surface, the construction work is now causing potholes etc, is the developer obliged to restore the lane?
Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

For the avoidance of doubt may I clairify that the lane is a public footpath on the official map maintained by the local authority please?

JACUSTOMER-wh9jkql7- :

Yes it is a public footpath on the official map maintained by the local authority

Joshua :

Thank you. Is the developer using the path for vehicular access to the site?

JACUSTOMER-wh9jkql7- :

A lot of the vehicular access has been through the existing gate, but yes as was the case yesterday we had a construction lorry completely blocking the lane/footpath as they hoisted building materials into the site.

Joshua :

thank you. It is a criminal offence to drive over a public footpath without a lawful right. It is possible the developer has a private right-of-way over the lane in his title to the land but if it is not, then driving over the public footpath would constitute a criminal offence and can be prosecuted by the local authority. In addition, the local authority can make a claim against the developer for any damage caused to the public footpath whether or not the developer has a right of way.

Joshua :

The local authority's planning department in granting planning do not grant any rights of way nor are they able to.

Joshua :

accordingly, if the lane is a public right of way, the contact the local authorities highways department to notify them of the situation in order that they can investigate and take action. If the developers is not have a right of way, the local authority will likely serve notice upon the developer to cease and desist and warn him of potential prosecution in respect of any future infringement and past offences. Local authority will also likely seek damages for any damage caused to the public footpath

Joshua :

Is there anything about I can clarify for you?

JACUSTOMER-wh9jkql7- :

Not for now, many thanks this has been very helpful

Joshua :

A pleasure

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