Are gutters and copping stones part of your boundary line

1 Jul 2017
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United Kingdom
I have just bought a small shop and we have shared pedestrian access to the drive outside the property with an easement on the drainage, we have had plans passed to install a new shop front and cladd the exterior walls with a thin 10mil insulation polystyrene to get rid of any imperfections and 2 x 100mil ornamental pillars either side of the double front doors.

The owner of the drive is now asking us to remove the pillars which project approx 60mil from or window sills because and the 10mil cladding as we are trespassing, or pay up, his point is and I quote “ If the pillars are of value to your business then I have to pay him an undisclosed sum, if they are of no value, then remove them, it’s as simple as that” Un quote.
As I understand it a boundary feature is any structure that separates your property from your neighbour’s

Therefore I am telling him that unless he can come up with any wording or measurements in the title deeds held by the Land Registry to the contrary then my gutters and or copping stones count as a structure and that is my boundary line not just the physical wall.
He has even convinced himself that my window sills are allowed as part of my drainage easement

Can anyone shed any light on this, as we have now had a solicitors letter and he is taking us to court
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I don't understand your point.

Are you saying that the wall is your boundary, and you want to project a few inches beyond it?

You do not have the right to stick your building out beyond your boundary.
Sorry if not clear, there are 2 properties with a drive in between them owned by a 3rd party, at some stage in the past they were all under one ownership, but gradually they were sold off piece meal, my point is there are no pacific measurements all we have are red lines dividing all 3 properties, so where would my legal boundary be taken from, the wall or the furthest projection, i.e. gutters or copping stones
From the Ground Boundary line on the plans from the walls , going upwards if the guttering goes over that you are encroaching on your neighbours property
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I have seen gutters on a garage protrude over a boundary onto council space (ie pedestrian pavement). When I asked the council have the owner remove the gutters because I they were tresspassing the council confirmed that a flying encroachment (I think that is what they called it) was permitted.
Bosswhite, I understand what you are saying if my property was an extension but the point is my property and the drive were as one, then divided, surely my sills and gutters would be the point at which the new boundary would be taken at the time the new boundary were defined.
the presence off any structure means nothing really
if the plans define a boundary and you are partly over it it doesnt mean its allowed unless specifically specified in the deeds or plans
My guess is that the wall is your boundary, and that you have an implied easement for your eaves and gutter ('eaves drop'). Similarly, you would have an implied easement for any pre-existing projections. Presumably window sills are low enough (and gutters high enough) not to impede the passage of a vehicle, but you wouldn't have an automatic right to add any further embellishments to this elevation - even if they projected no deeper than sills and gutters.
I have been told that as there is no mention of the exact boundary and both the drive and our property were as one, a plumb line should be dropped from the roof copping stones and that is where the boundary line should be taken from when separating the 2 properties. That would seem a reasonable solution and based on the following.

This is a line of text taken from a Law Firm specialising in English boundary disputes.
(“Boundary features
A boundary feature is any structure that separates your property from your neighbour’s,”)
I wouldn't walk into a courtroom with that defence without first consulting a lawyer.
Turning this around, the owner of the land in question has already posed the question you need to ask yourself.
How important are these pillars to your business? You don't want to be getting into a boundary dispute, which will be costly and very time consuming.
If your deeds specifically mention and easement for the drainage then that will be all it covers , i.e. the drainage is the only thing allowed to overhang, you cannot have more structure such as your proposed cladding or pillars also encroaching even if they are within the drainage line.
Before getting too confrontational with the land owner have you asked him how much he wants for legal easement. He might just be trying to prove an initial point that it is his land, and the financial consideration might not be his primary concern.

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