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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7661
Experience:  UK solicitor holding an England and Wales practising Certificate.
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Hi I want to purchase a property with a large and substantial

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I want to purchase a property with a large and substantial garden. The property is in a cul-de-sac but at the back of the road there is a main road. The house I want to purchase - is the only one to have access onto the main road from the back and the current occupiers park there caravan in the back garden accessed via the main road.
I want to know if the entrance is actually an official right of way ???
The issue is this in the garden I want to build another house with access from the main road. If the current house has access (official) i would be easier for me to get access as well.
Thanks for your question.
The property you are interested in backs on to a main road and the main road can be accessed from the property without crossing any other land. Correct?
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

correct !

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.
If the main road is a public highway maintainable at the public expense AND you do not need to cross any other land to access it from your property then you do not need a right of way from your land to legally access it.
Public highways are accessible to all, so you don’t need a legal easement to get access. Obviously, you own your own land so provided that the main road and your road are attached there is no right of way required.
Get your solicitor to check that the main road is a public highway then you will be fine.
However, if you build the house and are to sell it then if you wish to retain a right of access from the existing building to the main road then you will have to reserve a right of way in your favour in the transfer of the proposed house to the buyer. Your solicitor would sort this out though.
My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've been told that if I want to build a house I would need planning permission. Which is fine - but also been told that highways agency don't like to grant access from a main road for a new build. Especially if that was the only house accessed via the main road.

They can be very difficult if an entirely new access is proposed to be form, certainly.
However, if the access is already in place and it's simply the case that it is not used very often then you should be fine.
Because it's a bit difficult to visualise though I would certainly advise checking with the local authority and highways before you start incurring costs.
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