How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29202
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

If I own a piece of land with a layby, what are the

Customer Question

If I own a piece of land with a layby, what are the permitted uses and do I need planning
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No, this is a potential purchase.
JA: Where is the land located?
Customer: In Cornwall.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: no.
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Added an image for reference.
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 20 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
How long is this going to take to find someone?
Expert:  Joshua replied 20 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

  1. but for the layby, this appears to be forestland - is that correct please?
  2. you mention planning. What do you propose to use the land for?
  3. Have you contacted the local authority in the area to see if the layby is adopted as part of highway?
  4. do you know if the layby is actively used by vehicles?
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Hi Joshua.I am thinking of purchasing the land which includes the layby. I have not contacted the local authority in cornwall to see if it's been adopted. I guess that makes a big difference to it's status?My question is really, if I was to purchase the land, what are the allowed uses of the layby? If it's adopted, does this mean it is now owned by the highway/local authority and actually, it's not part of the freehold of that plot of land?
If it is not adopted, can I fence it off and clear the tarmac (and the shrubs to the edge) and potentially apply for planning to put a temporary structure on there (i.e. caravan, yurt, hut etc.)?
Expert:  Joshua replied 19 days ago.

Thanks for the above. As you say the adoption status is crucial. If the layby is adopted then whilst you will still own the land if you buy it the LA will be responsible for the top surface of the land and it will be subject to public rights to use on foot and by vehicle. Another way of looking at this would be you own the land in name only, but there is nothing you can do with it due to the above.

So this would be the first question. If the answer to the question is that the layby is not adopted then the next question is are there any public rights of way over it. This might either be recorded on the title to the land or in the registers of public rights of way maintained by the local authority. If there are rights of way then your purchase would be subject to the same.

If there are no rights of way a query should be raised with the landowner to understand the reason the land has been laid out as what would appear to be a layby. This has not come about by accident so at some point in time there would have been a purpose for this. It would be beneficial to understand what this was (is).

If you are satisified from your enquiries that there are no rights of way and that the layby has not been used by the public for more than 20 years (which would risk a claim to a potential new right of way) then the land could be turned back into forest land. You would need to liaise with the highways department at the local authority in respect of safety issues when carrying out work adjacent to the highway. There should be no requirement for planning however to reclaim the land as forestry land

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Joshua replied 19 days ago.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.