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common land dispute

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barnoldswick | 01:57 Wed 14th May 2008 | Home & Garden
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my neighbour owns land which is positioned behind common land . He claims no one can use the common land because he wishes to use his land for parking and that the common land must be kept clear at all times to allow him access. I have been using this land frequently for 26 years. My neighbour has lived there for 10 years and has never objected before now. I do not , and never have refused to let him access his land . It is a very small rural comunity with an escalating parking problem which will be made worse should he continue his demands for sole use of the common land. Please could you advise me if he is within his rights to deny us shared use of the common land. regards mrs k varley

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Not quite sure what you are asking.
It is illegal to take a vehicle off the public carriageway onto common land anyway (well, technically you can take a vehicle no more than 15 yards from the highway).
He can do what he likes with his land provided it doesn't involve taking his vehicle onto common land to get to it.
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when i say common land i am talking of a small " unadopted" lane on which there are 9 properties. The lane has a recess to one side ,behind which is my neighbours land. There are no kerbs .and all residents try to accommodate everyones parking needs.........untill now. The main road which the lane runs off has double yellow lines for 1/4 mile ,so there is no alternative parking.The lane is aproximately 30 mtrs long and only aprox. 10ft wide so you can visualise the problem. I am wondering about his legal right to keep access to his land clear
OK that makes sense. That is not common land - common land is village greens, areas known as Commons - that sort of thing.
The unadopted road might be privately owned or it might be that no-one technically owns it - either way you and your fellow residents do seem to have established rights of access - to pass and repass along the road to get to your house.
However it is a rather different matter if you are wishing to leave a vehicle in the road and thus block another landowner from gaining access to his land.
I cannot say for sure, but I do believe that just because you have been doing it for years means you have gained a permanent right to park there - because what you have an access right not an ownership right.
What exactly are the words written in your land title about this access arrangement?
The best way to solve this would be a little local arrangement that maintains a single entry into his parcel of land - it sounds like he is arguing that the whole of the lane abutting his land is his to control.
You may have to approach CAB to try and get 30 minutes of free qualified legal advice, but otherwise this sounds messy (and potentially expensive legally) to resolve if you cannot do it amicably with simple local agreements.
Sorry - rather important missing word in the middle of my answer -
"I do believe that just because you have been doing it for years DOES NOT MEAN you have gained a permanent right to park there"

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