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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 live in a semi-detached cottage with right of access along

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We live in a semi-detached cottage with right of access along our neighbour's driveway to reach our own property. This is the only ingress/egress route we have, and the access is defined in deeds as "... at all times hereafter and for all purposes to pass and repass...". The driveway starts with a sharp right-hand turn from another private road.
Our neighbours are intending to put a gate (shut at all times) across the top end of the driveway, which will make it difficult to turn into it - this is already a problem for delivery drivers etc, as the required width of the easement is 4.63 metres, but their flowerbeds and patio have reduced the available width to approximately half that. We have never complained on the width interference, but a gate is just too much. I know, for example, that the postlady would refuse to walk down the drive from her van.
We have told our neighbours that we would be unhappy with a gate, and have asked them to talk to us before doing anything, but they are not very friendly/amenable, and I think they might just go ahead without notice. I don't want to cause unnecessary friction but need to know our rights and options please. Thank you.
Hello. If the gate will interfere with your rights, you have every right to complain. Whilst you of course do not wish to damage relationships, you ought to write to your neighbours saying that you have a legal easement over their land and you are concerned that the gate will interfere with this easement. You will, I am afraid, also have to mention that you will not allow / tolerate any such interference and will resort to all legal means to protect your rights. If they ignore you, I am afraid you will have to seek an injunction for the removal of the gate - this would be expensive, but if you win you would probably get most of the costs awarded against your neighbour. Best, WB
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