Issues With an Adopted Road

Discussion in 'Tenant Farming, Subsidies, BPS & Legal Issues' started by Frank-the-Wool, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. Frank-the-Wool

    East Sussex
    I am Chairman of our local Community Hall, which is relatively new and is situated down a small lane and next to a 900 year old Church.
    The lane leads to two farms and a number of houses.
    A "newcomer" has bought what was the farmhouse and the land around the Hall and the lane. Before the Hall was built car parking has always been around the Church and along the lane. The Hall has a small car park but not large enough to accommodate larger events at both the Hall and the Church at the same time.

    The new owner has informed us that he does not want any parking on the verges or around the Church as he owns the land and the road is only an Adopted road. This we have discovered is true and only the width of the hard surface is the Highway that is owned and managed by the County Council.

    Before the Hall was built some 10 years ago people had always parked along the Lane and around the Church, the previous owners had always permitted this and never raised any concerns.

    Does anyone have any experience of whether we can obtain any legal right through existing use over the last 150 years at least and a number of locals who can go back over 60 years who have parked on the Verges.
    The new owner cannot be negotiated with as we have already tried.

    Obviously we cannot afford to throw lots of money at Lawyers on this, but the viability of the Hall and the Church will be severely compromised by the action of this person.
  2. Goweresque

    Goweresque Member

    North Wilts
    I would have thought that it would turn on whether the previous owner had ever either tried to stop people parking there, or told the church that parking was only with his or her permission. Because if it was with permission, then said permission can be withdrawn, by the new owner if they so choose. But if it was not done with permission, then some sort of right could have been created. Ideally if the old owner were minded to help (assuming they are still around to do so) they might be prepared to make a statement that they never gave permission for any parking to take place but equally they were aware that it took place and never tried to stop it either. Combined with some statements from users that they have been parking there unencumbered for decades might allow you demonstrate a right by continued unrestricted use.

    The problem, even if you have a decent case, is that the lawyers are going to end up involved, because if the new owner sticks a load of rocks or logs down the side of the lane to prevent parking, then the only way you could enforce your right to park would be via the courts.

    Are there no more unofficial 'local' sources of pressure that could be brought to bear on the new owner?
  3. Lili

    Lili Member

    Check with your Diocesan Office as soon as possible for the deeds for the Hall. Church halls were often built on ground given by a local farmer and there should be some sort of agreement drawn up at the time. There might be a covenant to do with access etc for the Hall and the Church. The Rural Dean or Archdeacon might be able to help. Best wishes it's not a good situation.
  4. Frank-the-Wool

    East Sussex
    Sadly the last owner who was a great supporter of the Village and the Church is dead! He gave the land that the Hall is built on.
    The Parish Council who should be able to help in this are not very helpful and some of the issues relate back many years when the Hall was built and one of the Councillors has always been against the site of the Hall (he lives near to it!). The Hall is very well used by local people and is the only community building in the village, it is however a Church Hall which seems to rankle with some people, even though the management committee who run it are separate to the Church.

    I fear you are right and that we will have to end up going down the legal route, the money this costs would be better spent on facilities in the Hall!
    I have a feeling the new owner will do lots of "improvement" work to the house and surrounding area and cause a lot of grief, then sell up and move on.
  5. kmo

    kmo Member

    E. Wales
  6. Frank-the-Wool

    East Sussex
    We will look at this but fear that because the farmer who gave the land also owned the road that the issue of parking was not considered. The Church I doubt never considered the issue of parking as it wasn't an issue when it was built!!!
  7. Still Farming

    Still Farming Member

    Glamorgan Wales
    These dick heads turn up and cause trouble everywhere unfortunately?
    MF135, Willmar, mixed breed and 3 others like this.
  8. Frank-the-Wool

    East Sussex
    This could be useful, however the problem is car parking and this specifically mentions that you cannot drive over common land.
    The verges have been used without interruption ever since the Motor car came to the village and presumably horse and cart before that.

    I fear that we will have to investigate the legal route.
  9. Lili

    Lili Member

    There may not have been any parking but churches were very careful about owning land and their various rights!! You might find that there is some ancient wayleave document buried in the archives. Good luck.
    Still Farming likes this.
  10. Purli R

    Purli R Member

    When he wants to do "improvement" work to his house,what will the parish council say?:whistle::whistle:
  11. Frank-the-Wool

    East Sussex
    Sadly the PC are very weak and are more concerned with having speed watch than helping out the village residents with better amenities. The "new" owner will not be bothered by them!!

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