Advice on shared access path / decking

L

limpwaster

Hello,
I live in a mid terraced house in a hilly area, and whilst most of my garden is fairly level, the last 2m is raised up about 1.5m above the rest of the garden with a supporting wall. Between this raised part and the rest of my garden is a path to the neighbours garden, so they can get their bin out, etc. This is marked on my plans as such.
I would like to build a deck platform on the raised part, with steps leading up to it so it is not wasted space, but to do that I would have to block part of the path way.
The thing is, my neighbour doesn't use the access path; in fact their fence doesn't even have a gate in it to access our garden. The fence is old (fallen down a few times!) so i think it has been like this for some time.
Is there anything I can do to claim the access path is no longer in use so I can build on it, or even can I move the path? The current neighbour doesn't mind, but they are looking to sell in the next year or two and the new neighbour might want to use it.....
Also, I know you don't need planning permission for decking, unless it is raised a certain amount above the ground. Technically my decking willl just be on top of the raise part of my garden, but I will be easily able to see into the neighbours gardens, so wondered if I would require permission for this?

Thanks in advance for any help, sorry my question is a bit long winded!
Tom
 
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I can't really answer the questions regarding whether you can build on it or not as I don't really follow your explanation. That may be why no one else has replied.

Anyhoo with regards to the decking provided you do not exceed 300mm above the highest existing ground level and you cover no more than 50% of the garden with this and any other extensions/outbuildings etc you do not need planning permission (unless you're in a conservation area or your house is listed or other anomaly). It does not matter whether you overlook your neighbours as a consequence. Although one would hope common sense and common courtesy would prevail ................
 
L

limpwaster

Thanks for clearing up the planning permission, I will be sure to protect our neighbours and our privacy when starting the project don't worry.

Back to my first question; reading it back it does seem a little confusing so I apologise.
I've created a couple of basic images in paint so help a little with my explanation.

My plan
My Garden is split in two parts; the largest part is level with the ground floor of the house, and the smallest bit at the back is approximately 1.5m above this. The bit at the back is currently not being used, but I would like to put decking on it, with steps leading down to the lower part of the garden.
TIPii.jpg


The Problem
The potential problem is the path way that is between the upper and lower parts of my garden. On our plans, it is marked as shared access for our neighbour.

TJiI2.jpg


Obviously I am in the middle house, neighbour 2 to my right is end of terrace house, and neighbour 1 to my left is the neighbour who has access rights through my garden. The access path in question starts in my garden, goes through neighbour 2 garden, and down the side of neighbour 2 house to the main road.

The current neighbour doesn't use the path at all and dont even have a gate to get into my garden if they wanted to (the fence is theirs). I have spoken with them and they dont have a problem with us building steps across the path and have no intention of using the shared access.

My question is that if I get new neighbours in the future who decide they want to use the access path, would I have to remove the steps to my decking?
Or is there a way that I could get neighbour 1s access to my garden removed OR legally move the access path in front of the steps?
Thanks

[/u]
 
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I think your neighbour would be mad to allow you to build across the path, when they come to sell it may create all sorts of problem for them and the new buyer. Effectively you'd be removing the access to their back garden.

To do it by the book I am guessing you would need the title deeds amending so you'd be looking at appointing a solicitor for you and one for your neighbour although your neighbour may realise it has some value at some point.
 
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i dont think you will be allowed to alter the path without written permission and amendments to the land registry
it usually specifies as in within 2ft off the boundary on foot/livestock/non motorised/as applicable
 
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I would never agree to that & don’t think your neighbour is aware of the can of worms he could be opening. As stated, it could create all sorts of problems for both of you even though your neighbour doesn’t use the access. There will almost certainly be a Wayleave which you would have to get rescinded & to do that, your neighbours mortgagee will need to be involved; they may refuse & even devalue your neighbour’s property as a result.

I won’t bore you with the detail here but know of a similar case involving a Wayleave which caused all sorts of hassle. Beast option would be to have some steps you can raise & lower for access to the decking.
 
L

limpwaster

Thanks for all your advise, I see your point with de-valuing my neighbours property, and I don't want to do that.

I will probably just opt for the steps that can be raised / lowered as Richard suggested.

Thanks again
Tom
 
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another thought

my right off way is via a path tight to next doors house wall and i still have a gate there but by mutual agreement i have a gate near the bottom off the garden this allows them to set up the patio as they want it blocking off the actual access with furniture and use the space
perhaps with "a temporary" gate before you get to the decking would still allow access all be it with a dog leg along the front then up the stairs and via the correct gate

just remember the right off way is without restriction and if they choose they can use it as there main entrance and use it several times a day so must be full accessible at all times
 
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Just build a temporary stair unit that can be moved out of the way when you move or access is required.
 
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I know I'm a couple of months late here and you might have already resolved the issue, but couldn't you simply divert the path around the base of the steps - simply making the path wider at that point. This might not agree 100% with the position of the path as indicated in your deeds, but it would be awfully pedantic of a future neighbour to argue that they are inconvenienced by a detour of a couple of feet from the "official" route.

If the worst comes to the worst and your new neighbours are sticklers for officialdom then you might have to revert to the movable steps option. Or, you could sacrifice a little of your raised area and build the steps parallel to the path in a "cutaway". What about using projecting stones as seen in some dry stone wall stiles?
 

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