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Right of access, Right of Way, Easement

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ripples8 | 23:12 Fri 05th Feb 2010 | Civil
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Can anyone tell me the difference between the Right of access and the Right if way or Easements in title deeds? My neighbour has right of access over the top of my driveway to their property. Their drive way is at a 70 degree angle to mine. The deeds show a yellow coloured oblong which covers the area of access. However being coloured by hand on the small scale of the land registry ... I believe this starts at the end of their drive however they believe it should allow them a futher metre or two to reverse down my drive to turn their vehicle before driving back up. My drive is on a slope and they do this at speed leaving dust from turned gravel and often back on to the grass verges too. The previous neighbours use to reverse in to their own drive or use their T patch to swing their cars. However the new neighbours have 4 to 5 vehicles (4X4, large Transit van, small transit van, etc) so they can not turn without doing musical chairs in their space and the wife and visitors are rubbish drivers! . Please don't get me wrong we tried to avoid confrontation even though we were annoyed at many other bad practices and sadly we allowed it to go on for over three years occasionally asking them to move visitors cars if they were once again parked in the middle of our lawn. Which by the way they ignored till it was evening and the visitor was leaving anyway! Therefore can anyone tell me if the right of access allows them to reverse on my drive?


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It probably doesn't - you are the one who can see the plan - we can't, and rarely are the plans accurate enough to judge exactly what the deal was all those years ago before 4x4s and pathetic drivers were invented.
However you would be able to see from the plan whether a T-section is shown, suggesting a turing space.
Unfortunately these situations just have to be challenged and see what outcome you can achieve by 'peaceable means'. You want really an agreement that you can live with. Write them a brief note on what you've agreed if you want - they way there is no danger of them achieving an extension to their existing right of way. The last thing one wants is an escalation of the problem; equally one doesn't want to be spending money on lawyers. The trouble is that 'arsy people' seem to feel they can get away with this sort of abuse of their neighbours. And to a certain extent they can - merely to maintain a modicum of peace.
A (private) right of way and a right of access are the same thing. An easement is a generic term for a right one person has over anothers' land. There are many sorts of easements - for example, a right of way, a right to water, to right to free passage of drains through another's land, a right to light. Etc.
sorry - the sentence in the middle should read 'that way there is no danger of them achieving an extension to their existing right of way by long usage (over 20 years) without permission'.
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Hi thanks for the answers. I read on another website : "• you may pass and repass along a right of way as long as you do not stop and/or linger on the right of way;"

Would reversing constitute stopping? I have had a good look at the deed plan and found by measurement and also by the location the neighbours ahould not be passing any further than the point parallel to their drive. However they are now saying yellow boxes allow for reversing as they have seen it on other estates! I have never seen this anywhere else ... Also could you tell me what does the T looks like (for signifying turning) and since when has this marking been incorporated in deeds?

I am trying to keep it amicable but their attitude is to pretend we don't exist as long as they get to do what they like. One of my friend's said we have to take a stance or they will push us even further and legally I can see we are in the right.

Thanks for all your comments much appreciated.
Well they can see what they like on other estates - it counts for nothing.
The right that they have appears to be one to pass and repass over part of your land (the driveway) - to the extent over which the land on the plan is marked in some colour on the plan. So they can't stop and park on it, and they can't dump their car(s) on another part of your land (not part of the driveway covered by the easement but adjacent to it).
Personally I don't see how reversing constitutes stopping - however they are supposed to be using a length of your land to get from the public right of way onto their land - nothing more nothing less. That is supposed to be possible in one single pass (but I suppose if you have a sharp bend on it, they have a problem).
In theory you can call their bluff by putting a gate or some other impediment across the section of your drive at the junction where they have a right of access. Having a right of access means just that - not a right to extend the width of the access because they choose to have vehicles so big that they won't go up the width / angles defined on the plan.
Now go back to my second sentence in the first post - the one that begins 'Unfortunately'.
could you buy some large rocks or cement pots and edge your property with them...
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Yes I have been scouring around for some decent size rocks and plants. Does anyone know where large rocks can be got for a decent price without breaking the bank? I will need to get some monoliths as well....
Down the A303, on the right, just past Amesbury there's a few - stuck in a field doing nothing. Seem to have been there a few years now.
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Yes saw them a while back...not quite to my taste though too aged for my liking and a bit large ... Any other suggestions....?
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Well still no further ... they do not like when facts are pointed out to them and are being coached by their buider father to continue as they are. I have checked the yellow land markings from the previous owners solicitors. What I would like to know is does anyone know where the definitive copy of the lease would be ie the original or one that everyone takes copies from? They blow hot and cold and keep insinuating that they want to be friendly but will become nasty if they need to. The solicitor has a copy of their lease in shows the access clearly but they have given us the same copy with the patch extended. I just want to show them the definitive copy so they will accept the facts. Does anyone know?

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