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Random one on original plans vs deeds any advice/knowledge welcome.

(5 Posts)
KevinMcCallister Mon 21-Nov-16 19:55:26

We've recently bought a house and when we were in the process of buying it, the advert said there was a communal garden. We double checked this as we did not want a communal garden. The deeds state that there is a communal driveway to the rear and there are lots of strictures about how it is used etc. The deeds also list all the covenants from when there was a house on the the land previously (now a row of terraces). The deeds show the garden at the front as clearly separated by boundaries and lost who is responsible for which one. The deeds also state that owners of other properties within the terrace can only access other neighbours gardens to access things like utility repairs or guttering repairs, that kind of thing.

We have applied to build an extension into the garden and the neighbours are stating that we cannot because the garden is communal. They've sent us a link to the council planning site showing the original architects drawings on which the word communal is written on the garden for all 3 properties. However, the plan on the deeds does not show this and nothing is written to that effect on the deeds. Moreover, the original architects drawings show a different layout of the houses to what they turned out as, for example the side windows are different and it states that foul water drains to the mains when in fact there are soak aways.

Can anyone advise as to which takes precedence, original architect's planning submissions or title deeds? Our solicitor was very confident that our garden is our garden and is not communal and has written as such to us to reassure us, but now the neighbour has sent through the link to the original drawings. The neighbours are saying if only we'd just asked them, then we wouldn't have wasted all this money on an extension design.

If the gardens were communal we wouldn't have bought the house. Also, the gardens are all treated as separate and have established thick hedging. I am a recent name changer (cubes of poo, rivers of sweet corn, fruit shoots and greggs).

Collaborate Mon 21-Nov-16 21:40:24

Planning site is irrelevant. It's the deeds that count.

KevinMcCallister Tue 22-Nov-16 11:30:22

Thank you Collaborate. The neighbour is now adding right to light as an issue. He's trying to stop us progressing but has not taken it further officially, so I have decided to ignore until he actually commits to making a comment on the planning application online then we'll wait to see what the Planning Case Officer needs/wants to do. Does that sound sensible?

Evalina Tue 22-Nov-16 21:30:29

If your solicitor is confident, then I wouldn't worry about what your neighbours are saying unless they can produce something a bit more substantial. Be aware though that he council won't take into account their claims one way or the other as the ownership situation is not a planning issue.

Once you have planning permission, if your neighbours believe that you are proposing to build on their communal land then the onus is on them to take legal action / show you evidence to stop you from proceeding.

[No legal qualifications but have a propery

KevinMcCallister Wed 23-Nov-16 10:11:29

Thanks Evalina. I found that info on the planning website yesterday about what they could complain about. Our property is an absolute freehold guaranteed by the Land Registry so that was useful to find out and I have requested copies of their deeds also just to check. They are breaking covenants left right and centre anyway, so may want to keep a bit more quiet! I pointed out yesterday that we want to do this work to make it a viable family home and not make a quick buck and his email tone was much more conciliatory after that.

He commented that our proposal affects his right to light. The deeds state that there is no right to light or air therefore any restrictions to right of light would be controlled by the local planning authority alone. A block plan has been done which shows they (and us) get no direct light anyway due to a massive TPO'd cypress tree and a run of TPO's firs over the road. They actually get more sun than us in the summer afternoons because of the tree position.

Its in an area where developers like to snap up old houses and rebuild to make money and it transpires that he is a developer and rents his property out and the other neighbour rents out his property out as a holiday let. They have both stated that if all the terrace was sold off, it would be unfair that our plot is the biggest therefore we would get more money which is why they are insisting the land is communal. It appears as if they are just managing the decline of the building and are unhappy that we are proposing doing something that would make it better and turn it into a viable family home.

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