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Can I use a private lane that has now been made a thoroughfare?

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JimboBimbo | 01:21 Sat 10th Nov 2007 | Property
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I have recently bought a property with the view to building a couple of zero carbon houses on its land. This house was once the main house in a very grand estate where over the past 100 years the then owners sold off various chunks of land which has been developed and a private road has been formed out of the land that was not sold to give access to all these said properties - around twenty in all.
The property at the very end of the original road did not need to share its part of the road until about four years ago when the owner also sold some of the land which was developed creating a small extension to the private road giving access to a further four houses at the end. He fenced off his demise creating a clearly defined access lane for the new houses. Prior to that my house's garden would have bordered his directly but now it is separated by the newly formed extension to the road.
Along with the rest of the road, gas, telephone, water, sewage and electricity have been dug to service all the said properties; including the last four.
The original owners of the entire estate did not register the road as theirs, even though it was not sold separately and it has been used freely by all the owners of the houses on the estate.
My zero carbon houses need access half-way along the 30 meter long extension to the lane and although the owner has given free access to the four houses at the end when he saw my plans in the local authorities planning department he spoke to me and said that he would not object to the plans if I gave him twenty grand.
Is he entitled to do this? My architect has said that they have never heard of such an extortionate demand.

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�20000 seems cheap to me, and I have been developing housing since before Noah was a boy. In return you should make sure that you receive four formal individual grants of a right of way "to pass and repass at all times of the night and day on foot and with horses and vehicles such right to include all persons associated with the property and their agents and servants" to cover the existing road plus the extension for the new houses, plus a fifth similar grant for your existing house. The grants to be in a form acceptable to the Land Registry so that they can be Registered with the titles for each property.

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