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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25987
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have vehicle access rights (granted by the original owner)over

Resolved Question:

I have vehicle access rights (granted by the original owner)over a pathway that leads to my property. This pathway is also a public footpath but there are no rights for anybody else to use it for vehicular access. I maintain the surface of the pathway by tarmacing it suitable for my car and friends cars and I have also planted flowers and shrubs down the sides. I have stopped anybody else (including the local council) from driving over it.
The original owner's solicitors say he no longer owns the land but they have no details of who owns it now and they have no further interest in it. It is unregistered.
I have no intention of preventing it's use as a public footpath but wish to gain ownership to prevent unauthorised vehicular access and use. How can I do this as the Land Registry say I cannot gain it by Adverse Possession as it is a public right of way?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 6 years ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer! If you've any queries once you've read my answer do ask. When satisfied, kindly click the Green ACCEPT button.

Do you know the whereabouts of the original owner?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
He was the original ignobled landowner of most of the land around this area. He is now deceased and his estate is handled by his lawyers who have categorically stated his estate has no further interest in the land as they disposed of it some time ago but have no written details of when and to whom.
Expert:  Joshua replied 6 years ago.
OK that means that they can;t be bothered to look it up for you as there would be both financial and documentary records as these are required to be kept for 15-20 years by law.

However by the same note they do not have to tell you so unless they are prepared to cooperate, this is a non starter.

As you say it is not possible to adversely possess a public right of way. As such unless you can track down the owner by way of detectvie work you are stuck. Even if you could find the new owner, you would be reliant on him being prepared to sell the land to you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I believe the original owner never sold it and his solicitors can't be bothered to find this out. If the land was disposed of it was probably done in the late 1920s or early 1930s, Does this therefore mean that nobody can ever own the land and also control it's use? We are suffering considerable nuisance and damage due to this unauthorised use. .

As it is illegal to drive over a public footpath, unless, like me, you have rights granted by the original owner, and part of the covenant to the sale of the land on which my house stands prevents others from gaining vehicular access, can I prevent unauthorised vehicular access by virtue of these two facts?


Expert:  Joshua replied 6 years ago.
Can you explain what you mean by the covenant?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The covenant accompanying the sale of the land/house states that I have access rights both vehicular and on foot across the accessway (the path in question) to my house from the main road to my house. The accessway did not form part of the sale and was still in the Earl's ownership. Also at that time it was not a public right of way and only became so by default over the years with people using it as a short cut and is now down as a public footpath on the definite map
Expert:  Joshua replied 6 years ago.
OK this is not a covenant - this is an easement. The easement (right of way) doesn't give you any rights to prevent access other than such access cannot impede your right of way. If it does impede your right of way you can obtain an injunction in the County Courts. Otherwise you will have to rely on the local authority enforcing no driving on the footpath if this is an issue.
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