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.
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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.
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