Breaching of right of way over land

19 December 2023

Peter Humpherson, a Partner in our property disputes team, recently secured injunctions and damages against our clients’ neighbour, for breaching their right of way over his land.

Mr & Mrs S instructed Peter to pursue a claim against their neighbour, when he blocked their right of way over his land by installing a gate across a long track, which Mr and Mrs S and their visitors were entitled to use either by foot or in vehicles. Although the neighbour subsequently removed the lock following our initial correspondence, the presence of the unlocked gate continued to amount to a substantial interference with Mr & Mrs S’ right to use the track. It was situated in rural countryside with no streetlighting and along a track that was particularly wet and muddy in winter.

Further, the neighbour trespassed on Mr & Mrs S’ land by placing railway sleepers at the end of their gates to their driveway. Both actions were clearly designed to seek to prevent their use of the track.

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“It was hugely rewarding to be able to succeed in every part of Mr & Mrs S’ case, and the Judge’s comments totally vindicated their decision to issue Court proceedings. Mr & Mrs S had been extremely patient, but ultimately the neighbours’ behaviour had gone too far and it was having a huge impact on their enjoyment of their home. I am delighted that they are now able to get on with their lives, safe in the knowledge that their rights have been protected in full.”

Peter Humpherson

Partner - Property Litigation

Following a 6-day trial, the Judge awarded Mr & Mrs S everything they had claimed for, namely, an injunction requiring the removal of the gate, an injunction preventing the neighbouring owner from carrying out similar acts in the future, damages for the trespass caused to them, and their legal costs.

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I do not think we could have expected any better service and advice than we received from Peter. At every step of the process Peter has been informative, reassuring and very approachable. At no time have we ever felt awkward in asking questions that we felt could have been considered naïve.”

Mr S

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