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Erection of new concrete garage to the rear of my back garden over 5met. from my bungalow. Due to access from the highway the garage would run parallel with the back lane and encroach onto the lane by 1.2met.The land in the lane is unregistered and used by dog owners only and is 5met. wide. The county council inform me I will need planning approval and the relevant notices served. The right of way section have stated that they have received interest from the Parish Council about registering the land as a public right of way. They have advised me to contact the parish council prior to proceeding further. I have no parking facilities in the immediate area of my bungalow and I need the garage facility to accommodate my disabled wife with severe mobility problems. What would you put my chances of success on my application and what rights have I got in this situation. Thanking you James UK County Durham
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.
You mention the land is unregistered. Do you know who owns it please?
There is no known owner to this land. Regards James
It is quite possible to apply for planning permission on any land whether or not you own it but 1) if you do the benefit of any planning permission granted will benefit the owner of the land (known or unknown) and 2) objections can be made by the owner of the land or other parties that have interest under the land.
Your proposal would appear to have a number of potential significant issues. From what you say the lane behind your property is whilst not a public right of way, nevertheless enjoyed by individuals for the purposes of walking etc.
If one or more individuals could show that they have used the lane for more than 20 years continuously without permission, notwithstanding the present lack of a public right of way, they could dispute your right to build over the same. If the lane is successfully registered as a public right of way you could find that the local authority also takes action potentially leaving you with an expensive build cost that may receive an application to be pulled down.
It is equally possible that the planning application itself could be stalled or refused if there is opposition from local residents and / or the parish council on the grounds that it infringes a right of way.
It is very risky building on land you do not own simply because this is technically a trespass. It is however true that if you are successful in applying for planning permission and complete the build the courts will typically favour ordering compensation to be paid to here presumably the parish council as opposed to ordering the tearing down of a building but this is at the discretion of a judge as to what he thinks is the most equitable.
Ideally you would be able to find a way of building within your land to be safe though I appreciate from what you say this may not be possible.
Alternatively if you were able to track down the owner - this can be difficult in unregistered land you could negotiate to purchase the small piece of land you require.
I am sorry to highlight so many potential pitfalls. Unfortunately what you propose on the face of it would appear to be a highly risky proposition simply because of the potential for dispute in relation to the particular piece of land you require.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help with any further?
Thank you and very much appreciated James
A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.