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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have obtained planning permission to build a bungalow in

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I have obtained planning permission to build a bungalow in my gardenOn studying the title deeds there is a restrictive covenant in place which say I cannot build forward of the current building line.This originated, I believe, in 1950, when the land was first purchased.My land registry document does not state who the beneficiaries of the covenant are. The original conveyance from 1950 states that the vendor of the land and therefore the beneficiary of the covenant are the owners of a property known as Syddenrath which is next door but one to the property with the building line being shown across the adjacent property (Rymoden) and my property, High Croft Bungalow.When planning permission was sought the current owners of this property were consulted and provided no objection to the building.At the time the covenant was put in place the land to the south of the properties was farmland in use as allotments and I believe stone built cottages to the East. Both these areas now have properties built on them with the allotment area now being a housing estate.For both these reasons I would like advice as to whether a) the covenant is enforceable. and b) I need to take further action?

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

DO you ave the document available for me to examine? You can upload it to this thread or if you are concerned to keep it private, you can email it to me if you prefer.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi, I have attached a PDF showing the detail o my own land registry and the original one. Having looked more closely, the new one does show who the original covenant was made with but doesn't include the drawings showing the building line.
Thank you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No I don't want to call at this stage.

Thank you. Unless the covenants formed part of a building scheme (i.e. covenants which were imposed by a developer on your property and a number of other properties that were built in the immediate vicinity of your property as an "estate scheme" then the wording of the covenants at entry 1 of the Charges Register is insufficient to bind you as the new owner under the decision in Crest Nicholson v McAllister which rules that in order to a covenant to benefit from statutory annexation and bind successors in title (i.e. you) it must clearly identify the land that benefits in words in the covenant.

This is a personal covenant between two parties with no mention of benefiting land so it will not bind you under statutory annexation.

In order to rule out a building scheme it would be worth obtaining the title deeds of a few of your immediately neighbouring properties to ensure that the same covenants have not been imposed on your immediate neighbouring properties. This is only at all likely if your immediate surrounding houses are of similar design to yours suggesting that they may have been developed by the same developer as part of an estate development.

Subject as above the covenants would not appear to be enforceable.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** very helpful
There is one other property that is involved, my immediate neighbour. However, each house was built separately. My grandfather having this house built to his specification and the neighbour's house also being privately built. They were both built at around the same time. The vendor lived in a house on this plot and sold the 2 pieces of land separately for private development. No other properties were built at this time.
Can I assume that, as there was just the one other property this does not count as a development scheme.

That will be correct. Development schemes are generally pretty obvious visually in that they can apply when developers built a scheme of properties. The modern equivalent would be a Taylor Wimpey or Bovis Homes development such as you see being built all over the place. Generally the houses will be of a similar style in the immediate area. Building schemes do not always apply in these circumstances but they can do. If there are not a number of similar houses to yours in the immediate area, then no building scheme will apply as there is clearly very unlikely to be an "estate" that was developed and here you even no the history which makes it even less likely.

Accordingly the position will be as able that the covenants will not be enforceable under statutory annexation and should not bind you as a successor in title.

Has the above answered your questions satisfactorily?

Joshua and 2 other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
It has. Thank you very much you have really put my mind at rest.
You have been very helpful
Have a good weekend

A pleasure. And you

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Do you think it is necessary for me to take out indemnity insurance just in case at some stage the current owner of the property decides to pursue the covenant?

On the basis the covenants do not appear to be enforceable I do not consider this would be necessary but it would give you additional coverage in the unlikely event the Court of Appeal decision was overturned. This is unlikely but not impossible. You would need to get a bespoke policy though for future development.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks - I'll see how much it is. It may also be than my lender insists on it.

Best wishes