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Can a neighbour build on a driveway that I have a right of way over?

(10 Posts)
summerplease Thu 27-Jun-13 13:35:21

As per the title. We have a shared driveway and there is a section that the neighbouring property owns but I have a right of way down there to my back gate.
I am concerned that a developer is thinking of buying the house and enlarging it - would they be able to build:
- to the same footprint (in which case, how would they build the walls without blocking my right of way in the driveway??)
- over the area that has a right of way?

Any help is appreciated.

flow4 Thu 27-Jun-13 20:32:00

AFAIK, providing your deeds specify that you have a right of way ('easement') to get to your back gate, then next door can't stop you from doing that. But it might be possible for them to vary/move the right of way so that you get to your back gate by a different route. So, if you will be able to walk round the new garage and still get to your back gate, this might be allowed.

You should be able to exercise the same kind of right afterwards as before, even if it is by a different route. So if you could and did drive down there before, you should be able to drive down afterwards; but if you only walk down to your back gate now, then you would (I think) only be able to expect to walk there after the development, not suddenly claim a new right to drive...

There's full info (English law) here but be warned it's in legal jargon.

There's slightly less jargony info here and here too. smile

summerplease Thu 27-Jun-13 22:52:40

Thanks so much for this. It's very helpful.
At the moment the access is walking.
They couldn't reroute our access but they could narrow it and build further into the driveway so we'd only have an alleyway in theory. But then they'd have nowhere to park so that probably wouldn't work.

Anifrangapani Thu 27-Jun-13 23:33:34

They can but you can sue. Make sure you are using the row.

fancyanamechange Fri 28-Jun-13 09:38:53

I think that if they didn't have parking then they might not get planning permission or building regs wouldn't sign off the house. Might be worth a call to the solicitor who did your conveyancing or the council planning dept.

wonkylegs Fri 28-Jun-13 09:59:47

If you have a right of way by easement noted on the title deeds then they cannot block that right of way.
Parking is a planning issue and planning permission will not usually be granted if minimum parking is not provided but minimum standards are often less than people realise.
It is also unlikely that planning would allow an extension forward of the current property line (I don't know if this would be the case)

Make sure it is clear that the access is used and keep an eye out for planning applications (you should be officially given notice) or party wall notifications.
It may not require planning permission and may be classified as permitted development but that doesn't override your easement and you may still require notification under the party wall act.
In any case if they do obstruct your right of way it will be a civil case and will require you to take action against them. Hopefully you won't get to that.

chickensaladagain Fri 28-Jun-13 10:04:58

My neighbours have historic right of way across the back of my house (used to be a shared toilet -nice)

No use for it now as it leads to a wall

But I was refused planning permission for a single story extension because of it

They have to preserve your right of way -might be worth a phone call to the planning office...

summerplease Fri 28-Jun-13 22:24:15

This is reassuring. I don't think planners would be happy with no off street parking as our road is increasingly hard to park in. It's also reassuring that they probably wouldn't allow a developer to move the building line so much.

Now not so sure I have a right of way in the deeds as the conveyancing report doesn't mention it. Slightly worrying. No development is imminent though.

Mendi Sat 29-Jun-13 06:58:21

You need to check whether your right of way (easement) is registered against the title to the other property or not. You can find out by getting official copies of that title from land Registry for about £8. If you phone them they are quite helpful usually. They will be able to help you identify the right title number.

If it isn't registered then you should apply to register it. I would use a solicitor for this - they will probably do it for a fixed fee if uncomplicated (i.e. if not disputed by the other property owner).

summerplease Sun 30-Jun-13 17:08:58

Thank you very useful to know and I will check their deeds in that way.

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