Property owner's right to a gate: an open and shut case?

Property owner's right to a gate: an open and shut case?
38966762 - open gate toa green field in spring


Can a property owner acquire a right tohang, open and close gates?

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In 1977, the owner of a plot of land with a house on it (40) built a bungalow (40A) in a paddock forming part of a large back garden. He moved into 40A and sold 40. The current owners of 40 are Mr and Mrs Bradley and of 40A are Mr and Mrs Heslin. The owner of 40A retained a driveway. They gave the owners of 40 a right of way over the part of the driveway which ran from the road, alongside and into 40.

The original owner of 40, when it was sold, carried out works including surfacing the driveway. The result was that a triangular sliver of land forming part of 40 was incorporated into the surface of the driveway. The entrance of the driveway on to the road was shifted slightly onto land forming part of 40. The northern pillar at the entrance tothe driveway—to the judge’s eye—was built on the triangular sliver of land.

The 'consensual, co-operative and neighbourly approach' of the original owners regarding use of the driveway did not survive the changes of ownership.

The Bradleys closed the gates between the entrance pillars rendering 40 secure, but blocking the driveway affording access to40A. Therefore, the Heslins had tostop on leaving or entering 40A toopen the gates.

The judge observed that ‘Sensible neighbours would have sat round a table and worked out either a regime for closing the gates

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About the author:
Joanna is a commercial property specialist. Prior to joining the LexisPSL Property team, she was a transactional lawyer. She qualified in 1995 at Shoosmiths and subsequently worked at Nabarro, Charles Russell, Bircham Dyson Bell and Pemberton Greenish. She has wide-ranging experience of all non-contentious property transactions, with a particular emphasis on landlord and tenant work.