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wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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We have an orchard which is capable of residential development,

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We have an orchard which is capable of residential development, but only if we secure access, as it is landlocked. We have already agreed to purchase a strip of land which will give us access to a private road, but now have to secure a right of way (easement) over the private road. the owners of the road are willing to sell this to us, but we are unsure what an appropriate formula for valuation should be. Can you assist please?
wingrovebuyer : Hello. The starting point for access easements is normally one third of the increase in value attributed by the access (ie the increase in value by unlocking the land. Surveyors refer to this as a Stokes v Cambridge valuation, because of the legal case which established it. So, you shouldn't be paying more than that (although it is of course for the owner of the road to decide what it is they want!). Just make sure that the access easement you get is not limited to the current use of the land, but also covers future development. Best, WB

Is this true even though only we would be in a position to develop. No one else can do it, so there is no competition. If we can't agree to 1/3rd, (having already given away 1/3 of the land to buy the access, can we not negotiate less?

wingrovebuyer : Yes, the usual starting point is always one third. However, as above, it is for the road owner to decide what they want - clearly this has to be a figure which doesn't put you off bothering. You can, of course, negotiate however you like. This would be a private arrangement and so you can start at whatever figure you feel is fair. However, the general rule is one third, as above. Hope the helps? WB

Thanks, ***** ***** very helpful.

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