We have recieved notice from our local council that plans have been submitted to them for planning permission to build four properties.The question is the land to be built on has been used by the property owners out skirting this and has in the last 30 years has been used by the general public is this concidered now as common land for the general use of the public.No upkeep has been carried out by the owners, no private notices errected as to its use or not use, no fences errected just left open to the public at large to use .
Province/Country relating to question : england
nothing as yet
1. At the outset this land will not be considered public land merely because it has not been fenced for the last 30 years and has been used by the owner in conjunction with members of the public for those 30 years. Effectively, anyone who seeks to show ownership would have to show EXCLUSIVE possession of the land. Not intermittent use with other members of the public. Here no one who used it could show that they had exclusive possession, so none of these people would own it. Secondly, in order to claim some right over the land, in the nature of an easement, the person would have to be using it for 40 years for that purpose. Here only 30 years has elapsed. so, again, no easement over the land could be claimed. Be aware that there is no requirement that land be fenced so that a person retains ownership of it. Don't confuse use with ownership, or intermittent use. Similarly, there is no requirement for upkeep, nor is there a requirement that notices be erected as to its use. Just because others could use the land does not give them any rights to this particular piece of land.
Barrister 17 years experience
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