Barbarians at the Gate

#1
Why am I awake at 0500hrs?

Because the Barbarians are at the Gate to Litotes Towers and I would like some advice; that's why!

I drove home yesterday after a wee while away earning a crust elsewhere. I was surprised to find a couple of surveyors doing their business in my garden. I suspect that I was given the standard response "we are working for the Council and we thought it was the Council's land". To which I responded, "are the Council's maps really that bad?".

Having ascertained who they represented, I sent them on their way with a reminder that it would have been courteous to have asked my permission before trespassing.

Surfing the web, I have established that the company is working for the local Council on a planned extension to Council property which lies about 100m away. Access to that land is poor and I can see that it would make their life easier if they could use my garden for access.

I have not received any notice of planning activity but I live in a different postcode to the Council property and the Council might not have picked up my interest. Or, this might just be the Council preparing to submit a planning application.

I can see my planned quiet life vanishing down the drain here... I will, of course, get down to the Council Offices to see what is going on but, in the meantime, I would welcome any advice!

Could the Council force me to give them temporary access to their land? Could they force me to sell my garden to them?

How does that work? How do I value my garden?

Litotes

And no, I haven't slept since the effects of several large brandies wore off...
 
#3
They probably can make an Order on your garden but there is one thing in your favour at the moment. All the Councils are facing terrible cut backs e.g. Suffolk CC is facing redundancies of 90% alledgedly
The likelihood of your or the neighbouring Council having any spare cash at the moment is slight. What could prove to be a pain is if you wanted to sell Litotes Towers and, if the buyer's Solicitor was on the ball, things like this would show up on a land registry search.
Fight it and let your neighbours know
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#4
Other option ther than fighting them is to see how long project will last, offer to allow access if acceptable, on condition that garden is landscaped and re-fenced etc, get your garden done up at their expense.
 
#5
Check your property and house insurance you may have a policy in place that gives you legal advice/protection etc.

If so give them a ring.

You pay for the policy let them do the work for you.
 
#6
While it will certainly be a worry for you, CPO is very rarely used these days. The LPA will need to explore all options and can only instigate a CPO if it is demonstrably in the public interest - this usually applies to new motorways etc but not extensions to existing premises. For instance, the construction cost of an additional storey to the building could be prohibitively expensive but that in itself does not justify a "land grab" from adjoining owners. What sort of building is it - admin? leisure? storage? The current policy is for Local Authorities to share facilities with neighbouring Authorities rather than develop their own. If they do go ahead they will have to reimburse any costs you incur for surveyors/solicitors fees. Your surveyor (if he's any good) will prepare a report of alternative options within the Borough - any one of which should demonstrate that their current proposal is convenient but not necessarily in the public interest.
 
#7
This is happening in the field behind my house - fortunately it flooded the other day, which hopefully will put paid to any council expansion plans into my rural idyll. However my advice is this: next time, kill the surveyors and bury them in your garden - the council won't bother you again.
 
R

renamed_user

Guest
#8
Fight it all the way, but knowing the council will win anyway, it's just making sure you get the biggest payout possible. Go on local news, making sure that you have a walking stick, row of medals, showing signs of Alziemers. Tell the reporter bint your "stressed" and can't sleep at night etc. Even say you need Viagra as its affecting your relationship(s). Make the council out to be sons of Stalin, hark back to a distant relative who may have been Jewish and may have been deported. Let your imagination run wild all for the greater good and a fatter cheque.
 
#9
We have a house in a co-propriety in France, adjoining the local infants school. The mayor found that some of our land had been mortgaged by the developer who went bankrupt building the estate (something that we did not know, despite paying a French Notaire a large sum of money to handle the purchase). The mayor then decided that some of our land (i.e. the car park and access road) would do nicely for an extension to the school and tried to do an under the counter deal with the liquidator to buy the land (offering a derisory sum of money). We got it sorted out, but it involved us in the co-propriety actually buying back what we thought was our land in the first place and the efforts of a very good (and expensive) French lawyer.
 
#10
Just tell the council that you're a muslim and you feel offended.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Where's your ward councillor when you need him? Ask him to explain what is going on. Council officers who will stonewall any member of the public have to terad a bit more carefuly if a councillor is asking the questions.
 
#12
Thanks for your collective help; there are some useful suggestions that I will pursue.

I cannot find any indication that the Council has asked for planning permission. It seems to be an aspiration and they are doing some research before going any further. That gives me some time to undertake some research.

Thanks, Guys. I'll keep you posted.

Litotes
 
#13
While it will certainly be a worry for you, CPO is very rarely used these days. The LPA will need to explore all options and can only instigate a CPO if it is demonstrably in the public interest - this usually applies to new motorways etc but not extensions to existing premises. For instance, the construction cost of an additional storey to the building could be prohibitively expensive but that in itself does not justify a "land grab" from adjoining owners. What sort of building is it - admin? leisure? storage? The current policy is for Local Authorities to share facilities with neighbouring Authorities rather than develop their own. If they do go ahead they will have to reimburse any costs you incur for surveyors/solicitors fees. Your surveyor (if he's any good) will prepare a report of alternative options within the Borough - any one of which should demonstrate that their current proposal is convenient but not necessarily in the public interest.

BBC News - Glasgow grandmother faces Commonwealth Games eviction

The above case is being reviewed after shown on the evening news.

However it appears someone is out for blood

Games granny in benefit probe - Herald Scotland | News | Home News


Have a word with your councilor he/she is your local rep when it comes to council planning.
 
#14
If your name is Arthur Dent and you know a bloke called Ford Prefect then make sure you carry a towel with you at all times.
 
#16
Litotes:

My law license is from the wrong side of the pond to give you legal advice. I will make a couple of comments however:
Land surveyors often end up surveying on property that has nothing to do with their projects as land titles are often described with bounds that have disappeared or may have been moved. If the recorded title is based on a deed saying "running easterly 127.3 feet to an old elm tree" and the tree died years ago they may need to measure a lot ot two over to a nice granite block with a precise drill hole to get good measurements.

Also, public policy favours ensuring the clarity and validity of land titles. Therefore, here in the US most states have laws which permit registered land surveyors or professional engineers performing surveys to enter onto land to the extent needed to complete a survey. This entry can include removing brush or dirt obscuring benchmarks or other things described in deeds.

I would suggest checking with your local government but simply surveying at your boundary does not mean they want to use your land.

Hope this helps

Edited to add: about 8 years ago I had to have my own home lot surveyed and they had to go to the second lot down to find a good granite benchmark to measure from. I had the surveyor add a granite block with a drill hole at each corner of my lot which added about $600 to the cost of the survey.
 

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