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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 19830
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hi, To access my property I drive down a narrow 1 vehicle lane

Customer Question

Hi, To access my property I drive down a narrow 1 vehicle lane which is unadopted for about 100yds. The boudary with the unadopted lane on one side has overhanging trees and bushes which, upto about 3 years ago I trimmed back or removed if the trees were dead. The current owner has taken over trimming the hedge but wants the foliage and branches to overhang the lane to the extent of restricting pick up trucks and, I suspect, ambulance size vehicles using the Lane without bringing down some of the branches. He has recently been aggressive and threatening over this issue. My question is what in fundamental terms are my rights to free unrestricted access and the access of public service vehicles such as ambulance and fire engines in gaining access to my property?
Regards,
Keith
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.


Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions
from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other
users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that
case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

In what way are you restricted? Who owns the unadopted lane?

How low does he want branches to come?

 

There is no legal right to have to have access for emergency vehicles and that is one of the risks that you take when you move into a property which is down a narrow lane.

Indeed, many properties are down lanes which it would be impossible to get a fire engine or ambulance down.

Assuming that the lane is big enough and it is purely the branches which is the problem I think you need to get some evidence together with regard to the obstruction caused by these branches which for some strange reason he is refusing to let you trim.

I think you need to take some measurements and take some photographs. Then you need the approximate height of emergency services vehicles which are probably about eight or 9 feet.

Your next course of action would be to get a solicitor to write threatening an application to court for an injunction and legal costs if either he does not trim the trees or he does not let you do them.

If he still will not allow it, you are then faced with applying to court for an injunction. There is no reason that you cannot do it yourself if you know what you are doing. You need court form N 16A and there is a fee of £175. There is a further fee, if it goes to a hearing, of about £200. If he instructs solicitors and you do not get your injunction, you will get costs awarded against you.

Where the you will get the injunction or not will depend on whether the judge feels that this obstruction to your right of way is “substantial” and that would depend on how you present the case and how he defends it.

 

Does that answer the question? Can I help further? Can I answer any specific points?

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Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions
from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other
users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that
case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

In what way are you restricted? Who owns the unadopted lane?

How low does he want branches to come?

 

There is no legal right to have to have access for emergency vehicles and that is one of the risks that you take when you move into a property which is down a narrow lane.

Indeed, many properties are down lanes which it would be impossible to get a fire engine or ambulance down.

Assuming that the lane is big enough and it is purely the branches which is the problem I think you need to get some evidence together with regard to the obstruction caused by these branches which for some strange reason he is refusing to let you trim.

I think you need to take some measurements and take some photographs. Then you need the approximate height of emergency services vehicles which are probably about eight or 9 feet.

Your next course of action would be to get a solicitor to write threatening an application to court for an injunction and legal costs if either he does not trim the trees or he does not let you do them.

If he still will not allow it, you are then faced with applying to court for an injunction. There is no reason that you cannot do it yourself if you know what you are doing. You need court form N 16A and there is a fee of £175. There is a further fee, if it goes to a hearing, of about £200. If he instructs solicitors and you do not get your injunction, you will get costs awarded against you.

Where the you will get the injunction or not will depend on whether the judge feels that this obstruction to your right of way is "substantial" and that would depend on how you present the case and how he defends it.

 

Does that answer the question? Can I help further? Can I answer any specific points?

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not what you wanted to hear).
If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0 for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating.
It doesn't give me, "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my livelihood!
If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little, please ask.
The thread does remain open for me to answer follow-up questions.
I am offline shortly until later and will pick this up then if needed.
The thread does remain open for me to answer follow-up questions after rating my service.

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