Can we install a gate on our private road?

John Conlin / 25 May 2018

A reader would like to install a gate on a private road to stop fly-tipping, but not all neighours are on board.



Question

Our house, one of eight, is on a private road and we each own that piece of the road in front of our houses. Recently some fly-tipping occurred.

To generally improve security we want to install a gate at the entrance to our road but one resident is objecting. As seven of us are in favour do we have the right to go ahead on the basis of a majority?

Answer

Sorry, democracy does not prevail. Each of the eight properties has an individual right of way either written in their title or by long usage and can frustrate any limitation in freedom of use.

However all is not lost. A case from 1860 established a test still applied by the Courts today. Namely, the ease of use must not be materially reduced. In practical terms automatic gates with delayed opening sufficient to allow a CCTV image to be caught are acceptable but padlocks, remote fobs, keypad codes etc are considered interference with ease of use.



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