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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7617
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I write regarding a garage & land that has been in my possession

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I write regarding a garage & land that has been in my possession for the last 30 years. The council, however, now say that they require proof of planning permission of such. It was previously occupied by my late father in law who had permission from a former council, Rugby Rural, which is now Rugby Borough.
They now say i have to prove that this is so.
I have tendered the land for the past 30 years also previously when my late father in law occupied it.
Could you please inform me on how i stand with this matter.


Hi Harold,

Do you actually own the land, or have you simply occupied it?

Are the council claiming that they own it or simply that it does not have the requisite planning permisison?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i have occupied the land with garage on it for thirty years


the council are claiming that the ground is thiers and no planning was obtained from them.,


however this was obtained from rugby rural that is now rugby borough council , the garage was erected some fifty years ago by the military disablement for my late father inlaw there is no paperwork to prove this the garage in use to this day.


thecouncil tried this same stunt thirteen years ago please advise.


I'm afraid that I'm am now out for the evening, I will be able to answer tomorrow morning.


Thanks for your patience.

You need to find out definitively who owns it and then submit a claim for adverse possession claiming ownership.
If it's registered then you can order a copy of the register to check who the registered proprietors are:-

If the land is very old and has not been bought/sold for a very long time then it may be unregistered. This means there is no public record of who owns the land and you must rely on informal investigation to attempt to establish ownership.
You need to carry out an index map search at the Land Registry to check whether the land is registered.

Download Form SIM from the following site, complete it and attach a copy of a map showing the plot edged red. You will have to pay a small fee and can call LR customer services to estblish both the amount and the office to which you should send the form:-

On the facts as stated, you do appear to be eligible to make a claim for the land and you have to prove what is termed “adverse possession” to the Land Registry in order to have it registered in your name.

If the land in question is unregistered then you must have been using it continuously for 12 years in order to claim possession of it and be registered as the registered proprietor at the Land Registry

If the land is registered then you need only have been using it continuously for 10 years in order to apply for adverse possession at the Land Registry. Notice of the application will be sent to the current registered proprietor of the land, who is obviously at liberty to object. It is therefore more difficult to claim adverse possession of land that is registered.

If you do not know whether the land is registered then you can check using the Land Registry's online service by downloading a copy of the register of the title (if any) for the property:-

If this does not illicit results then you should send a index map search to the Land Registry by using Form SIM (enclosing a map of the area), they will then tell you definitively if it is registered. You can also download that form from the LR website.

In the case of both applications you would have to submit form ADV1 to the Land Registry together with sworn statutory declarations regarding how long you have been using the land (from you and others who know of your use) and it may be something over which you should consider taking specific legal advice from a local solicitor to ensure that the application and supporting documentation is drafted correctly.

The planning stuff is a bit of red herring to be honest, if the property has been used for the same purpose for over ten years then the council would be time-barred from taking enforcement action against a breach of planning use providing that you can prove length of use in excess of ten years.

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Kind regards,

Thomas and 3 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

Is there any further information you require?

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Kind regards,