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  • Refurbish/Develop

    Rights of Way

    This relate to rights of way when dealing with a possible planning plot. I’ve attached a mock-up image to aid clarity, I hope. 

    If you look at the image you will see two parcels of land under separate ownership; the land edged in red has the following written in its register entry: 

    The land tinted blue on the filed plan has the benefit of a right of way over the passageway leading into Delta Road. 

    This ‘passageway’ is currently wide enough to allow the passing of one-way traffic. My fear is that the owner of the area edged in black will be overly demanding and use his land as a ransom strip, and so scupper any chances of a deal. 

    Are my fears justified or does the right of way condition prevent him from being unreasonable and holding me to ransom? 

    Any other pointers? 

    Many thanks.

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    Marcus
    If the occupants of the plot have a right of way over the passageway to pass with vehicles then how could the owner stop them? A right of way is a right of way and no one can prevent you from using it if you have the right to do so.
    However are you not going to have highways issues? If there is only room for a single vehicle to pass then I am not sure that will be considered adequate I think you need to have room for two vehicles for at least 9m from the road, or can you satisfy highways requirements.
    Do the buildings along the passageway have any windows overlooking it as that is also a bit of a issue, there is sometimes ways round these sort of obstacles but something you need to consider.
    HTH
    Mike
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    Thanks for the reply Mike.
    I missed something out of the original post. The buildings in the area edged black consist of two derelict units and one ‘live’ commercial premises – this final unit has a door and two windows that open up on to the passageway. It wouldn’t be difficult to alter the layout but this is where I think I will need to deal with the landowner. What do you think?
    Concerning vehicular access, I believe my local council recommends around 5.5m for vehicular access in the type of development I have in mind, but this is only a recommendation as I have seen widths of 3.2 metres accepted previously for similar backland developments of mews houses, image attached - must be an urban thing?
    The one I’m interested in has access of 4 metres.
    Thanks again.
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    Marcus
    If they are commercial units I would suspect it would be less of an issue, the problem arises with privacy of residential dwellings when windows look out onto a proposed access. I would not have thought the planners would care about a commercial unit, however I don't actually know, so you may wish to ask someone that does actually know what they are talking about!
    If there are precedents locally of smaller accesses than the one you propose then you should have a good case.
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    Thanks for that Mike, much appreciated.
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    HI Marcus,
    I would have thought legally if there is a right of way then the land owner couldn't really prevent you from using it. However, I have come across instances in the past where by the right of way related to the existing building. So it didn't necessarily allow right of way to a new development. I presume however, that there is no caveat to the right of way from what you say.
    From a planning point of view I suspect access will depend on the scale (number of units) of the the development you propose. 5.5 metres is the national recommendation for a a highway but for smaller development of less than 5 units I've seen 4 metre private road (as this would be) and without any pavement. More of a driveway than a road as such.
    You obviously have to take into account access for emergency services and refuse collection
    I would discuss your proposal with the planning officer and an highways officer if necessary.
    I haven't measured the site but would have thought it could accommodate 3 detached properties comfortably but you would need to allow for vehicles to turn around. What would they be worth? what is the value of the house to which the access belongs? Is there any mileage in altering/removing that to accommodate minimum access requirements to the rear. There does seem to be a "pinch point" at the rear of the access strip at the corner - have you measured the width of this? It could be an issue.
    There would also appear to be another garden plot opportunity adjacent to the detached house to the East of your site. Have you checked that one out?
    I would speak to planners/highways to establish minimum standards. Then you can assess what is required to facilitate best return on the land and will know whether or not you have to open talks with the guy who owns the access drive too.
    I suspect something of very low density maybe your only option but I would need to carry out some further research, see the site and it's surroundings and to measure properly first.
    I would also ask your solicitor to confirm the legality regarding the access
    I would be interested to know how you get on and if you require any help in developing any sites I am happy to discuss further

    Cheers
    Lyndon
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    Many thanks.
    Lyndon you're a star, you've just about managed to cover all the issues I have concerning this particular plot.
    The original image I attached is something I put together in a graphics programme to help represent the actual site, so not real. The actual site is larger and I think capable of supporting four houses. Also, I should have made it clear that I’m not contracted to this plot yet, although I hope to be soon. It’s one of several sites I’m currently working on and will happily discuss them with you as they progress as I value your input.
    Best regards,
    Marcus
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