Land dispute solicitor wanted

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    Land dispute solicitor wanted

    Hi, can anyone recommend a solicitor who can help challenge a land dispute with the council? My local council want to turn our private close into a residents parking permit zone, even though our deeds show that we each own the road outside each of our homes and we have paid for the upkeep for well over 30 years. Thanks in advance!

    #2
    It often works the other way around - co-owners of a local road (who often allow it to go into dereliction because owners do not pay up) are desperate for the council to take over responsibility and ownership. Private roads local to my home are pothole ridden mud-baths.

    They can't have it both ways however - charging fees on something you own, and telling you what to do. Maybe they just don't realise it is a private road -- have you asked them?

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      #3
      When the council adopts a road, it doesn't legally own the road, so the deeds would not change.

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        #4
        As an aside if it is a private road, why is a residents parking zone implemented by the council needed at all? Surely if some residents claim they need designated parking, you can simply put up a "boom" barrier on the road entrance with a fob and keep everyone else out.

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          #5
          Just to deal with you main query -- no senior member on this forum is going to recommend a solicitor, and if they did their post would be removed.

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            #6
            One other complication here is that the criterion for imposing parking restrictions is that the road is a (public) highway. That is even less than being adopted (maintained at public expense). I'm not sure why a private close would have become a public highway, except possibly because the public have being going on it to park (or maybe give driving lessons), but it certainly possible for private roads to become public highways by inaction.

            This article describes the various levels of publicness of roads: Faqaboutprivatestreets.pdf

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              #7
              Legal ownership does not determine whether a piece of land is a private road or a public highway. Accordingly looking at your title is no help.

              As has been suggested, it is possible that your road is a public highway not maintainable at public expense. The highway authority's records will show if the road was ever expressly dedicated as a public highway. Express dedication without the road becomng a public highway would be unsusual. If the road has never been expressly dedicated it can still have become a public highway if used by the public as such - see section 31 of the Highways Act 1980 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/66/section/31

              Your best bet is to argue that the road is private and wait for the council to come up with something which proves to the contrary. If your council is a unitary authority, metropolitan district or London Borough you need to suggest to the official dealing with the matter that he liaises with the official who has the records of the status of the roads in the district. If the council is not a unitary council, metropolitan district or London Borough you need to suggest to the offical dealing with the matter that he liaises with the county council official who has the records of the status of the roads in the district.

              Unless you have already had fruitless discussions with your council, I think it is a bit too early to be incurring the expense of a lawyer.

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                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                When the council adopts a road, it doesn't legally own the road, so the deeds would not change.
                The legal position is a bit of an oddity. What the council owns is a "determinable fee" in the road, that is the made-up part reckoned to be two spits (spade blades) deep. Without going into exactly what a determinable fee is, in practice it means that the highway authority has the equivalent of freehold ownership in the road so long as it continues to be a public highway. Once the road cease to be a public highway ownership reverts to whoever owns the land below the road - often, but not necessarily, the frontagers.

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                  #9
                  Ting up the Law society and ask them to give you details to find a specialist land solicitor in this area of law.

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                    #10
                    Many thanks for all your comments, certainly enough info for me to investigate further. Will report back on any progress.

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