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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 9973
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I recently bought an access lane which serves various properties.

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I recently bought an access lane which serves various properties. I bought the lane from QLTR, it belonged to an Investment Company that wound up many years ago. At the botXXXXX XXXXXe 2 houses that have access rights across the lane. In their Title Deeds it only stipulates access and not vehicular or unrestricted access. Their Titles were formed in the early 1900's. I know a little about prescription rights but there is not a problem with this as they are nice people and I would give them legal access. However to the right of the lane lies the site of a demolished bingo hall which had its entrance from the main road at the top of the lane. The Company that owns the site think they can form an access from the bottom of my lane. My thoughts are as they only have access over my lane as is stipulated in their Deeds they cannot run cars or any vehicles across it. Their Title goes back to the early 1900's as well when there were very few cars. I think there used to be stables at the rear of the hall many years ago which had access for a horse and cart. What your views.
Thank you for your question.

The general rule of servitude is that someone who has the benefit of a servitude isn't allowed to make greater use of it than the title allows. So a pedestrian right of access can't be used as a vehicular right for example. Over the period whereby cars became the norm, it is arguable that where the titles don't provide any description other than "access" then that covers pedestrian and vehicular access, originally for cart and horse but now for motorised vehicles. This unfortunately is a bit of a grey area.

However what is clear is that under the use rule I refer to above, if the demolished bingo hall were to be developed into flats, for example, and the use on the lane would be vastly increased you could object to the owners from using th access as it is after all a lane and not a road.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please remember to leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much for your advice over the past few days.I have recomended this site and particularly yourself to friends.

Thank you. I am always here and look forward to helping you and yours in future.
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