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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 24527
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am in dispute with the Council over a piece of land that

Resolved Question:

I am in dispute with the Council over a piece of land that has been used for many years as a parking area in an area where there are other garages (of which I own one and rent two others). To my knowledge, mine and other vehicles have parked there for at least 15 years (1997 approx - I moved into the area in 2000 but had prior knowledge of the area and indeed some of my vehicles when previously owned by another were parked there before that). Having checked with other long term residents (over 30 years & 40 years respectively) in the locale, neither can remember when previous garages on the 'parking site' were removed, but likely to be at least 20 years, possibly longer, and the area has always been mutually used for 'parking'.
Council claim that it is 'private land' and a 'right of way'. I queried right of way to where, their answer was 'to the garages'. However actual area in question does not impede on any right of way to the existing garages, of which of course I am entitled to use. At no time has there been any sign stating 'private land', 'no parking', 'keep clear for access', 'right of way' etc.
I have never received a complaint prior to this year and certainly not in writing. A prescriptive easement applies if the land has been in use for 20 years. Can this be proven on witness statements? I don't think the Council can prove otherwise. There is also an underlying reason as the Council want to 'develop' this land including the garage that I own into housing. Of course I and others have objected and they would have to buy me out.
J Lee
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Traffic Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 9 months ago.

Joshua :

Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

Joshua :

Do you know if the owners of your property before you also used the area to park in a similar fashion to you? Do you still have their contact details. Failing this do you believe that local residents could confirm that the previous owners before you parked there in the same way you do giving a total of more than 20 years of parking in the area?

Customer:

The land in question is in a residential area (originally all council housing mix of flats and houses, of which most houses are now in private ownership) with various garage areas. The garages were available to rent (primarily for flat residents but also others). I bought my flat and owned garage under 'right-to-buy' scheme completing in 2003. I took over the vehicles and associated business from the owner who lived in the house opposite and was a former work colleague elsewhere, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He subsequently died in 2003. His wife remarried and moved abroad. The other residents I refer to are other neighbours and close residents of the aforementioned 'garages and parking plot'.The ownership of the land is 'council' with several garages rented out and another block in the same 'area' also used by St John's Ambulance (large garaged parking long term).

Joshua :

Thanks. Do you believe nearby residents would provide statements confirming that both you and the owners before you of your property parked in the area in question?

Customer:

The flat was previously tenanted before I took up the tenancy. The 'parking area' is adjacent but separate to the block in which I now own my flat (which has been tenanted out for many years). I spoke with the neighbours yesterday evening to ascertain whether a) could they remember the garages being on the are that I and others park and have done for many years; b) did they know when the garages were demolished?; c) they both agreed that vehicles had been parked there for a lot of years. They both agreed that there had never been any signs installed stating that the and was private etc.

Joshua :

Do you think they would be willing and able to make a formal statement to that effect?

Customer:

If I can get them to do so will that act as evidence and a bonafide case for continuing to park? As it stands, the person from the council during out telephone conversation gave me 72 hours to remove my vehicles otherwise they would be towed away to the 'pound' , when I asked 'where is the pound' - the person could not answer the question. I also requested the 'instruction/order' in writing.

Joshua :

Thanks. If you can obtain evidence showing that your property via you and the previous owners has over 20 years of use of the land for parking then you can apply to register a prescriptive right under the Prescription Act.

Joshua :

You must be able to show 20 years of consecutive use without secrecy or permission. You and your neighbours would need to swear affidavits that this is the case which you can register at the Land Registry. A local solicitor can draw these up and make the application for you relatively inexpensively.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX do I redress the Council's claim in the short term? I am currently constructing a letter to them which will be hand delivered today.

Joshua :

In the meantime you may wish to notify the council that you claim a right to park there and ask them to withdraw the threat of removal of your vehicle which you content is unlawful given your legal right. If they insist that it will be remove you may wish to temporarily remove it until you have registered the prescriptive right rather than risk removal and fighting retrospectively in the courts to get the vehicle and any fine back

Customer:

Is that 'content is unlawful' or 'contest is unlawful' given my legal right....?

Joshua :

Sorry for the typo - you are quite right, it should read "contest is unlawful".

Customer:

Thanks - I will get back to you. there have been several typos (looking at my text!).

Joshua :

A pleasure. If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today so far. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though. You are welcome to return at any time if you have follow up questions - the thread will not close.

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 24527
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and other UK Traffic Law Specialists are ready to help you

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