Right of way- use it or lose it (driveway at rear)

26 Nov 2011
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United Kingdom
We have a front driveway and our back garden runs alongside the road. At the bottom of our garden is an asbestos garage which has gates out across a drop kerb and out onto the highway.
This rear driveway is not shared with anyone else.
Give that I have just built a very large chicken run across the gates we'll not be opening the gates for some considerable time. You would not know this from the roadside...

Is there any chance we'll loose the right of way by not using it?

Currently nobody parks across the gates ( it being obvious that these gates are in front of a drop kerb, this is without a sign "Please do not obstruct etc". However, I wonder if we might be best off making a song and dance about moving the chicken run to get the gates open and used once in a while?


Ps. I did throw a few phrases into the search engine but could not find previous similar. Sorry if this is in the wrong place etc?
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Ensure that the right of way is recorded in your deeds or on the local councils definitive map
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Document as much as you can. If you can't take a photo of the car using the gates then make sure you take a photo to show why (the chicken coop that you've built).

If you don't have a camera with a date/time facility then get a newspaper and take a few with the paper, showing a close-up of the date. This will provide a date of use on the instance that 10 years down the line you need to prove anything.

It's not unknown for councils to loose information on adopted highways and such.
As said, it is vital you ensure the R.O.W. is recorded in your deeds. A ROW cannot be extinguished unless all parties involved agree and the deeds are altered (professionally) to record this fact. Take pictures, (a good idea to record the correct date without question is to include a copy of a daily newspaper in some of the photo's), and record what you have now in case of any dispute in years to come.

Unfortunately, there are those who think as a ROW (or the ground over which it passes) is and has been unused for many years, that they can then annex the said ground, (your ROW!), into their property. Developers where money is concerned have no care for those they affect! Hence why the documented evidence in the deeds is vital for future reference! Plenty of ROW disputes on www.gardenlaw.co.uk !!!!
A mate suggested Google street view. These pics are have embedded lat, long, and dates as watermark. Also are third party. Seems convenient.
Will hunt copy of deeds.

Thanks all.
I don't think you are describing a Right of Way.

You are describing a dropped curb, which is not at all the same thing.
A right is a right, not using that right does not lessen the right to it.

however, it wont hurt to walk over it at least once a year :)
A right is a right, not using that right does not lessen the right to it.

But is it a Right of Way?

A ROW would give you the authority to clear any obstructions so that you could exercise your right, such as if you had a right of way along an access track owned by someone else.
But I don't think you have a right to move parked cars that are blocking your driveway, nor to maintain it?

Isn't it only a limited right granted by the council, and a right that has been granted can be withdrawn?
That's "permission", permission can be given and taken away, rights are a lot harder.

I am pretty sure that the OP is referring to the permission to use the dropped curb when enter/exiting the property from the highway.

A chicken coop will not remove this permission, dont worry about it.
I'd be more worried about the public interfering with the chickens with it being so close to the highway.

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