Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fish Tennis

For weeks now I have been avoiding getting involved in (or even hearing about) a long simmering row that has been going on up the street from where we live. A near neighbour has been parking his car on the verge of the road alongside our house much to the annoyance of other neighbours who have complained to the council about the possible congestion etc. etc.

Today the neighbour arrived on our doorstep asking my permission to park just where he has been for weeks.

"Why are you asking me?" I said, "It's nothing to do with me, it's the Council's land. Part of the public Highway."

"Not according to the Council," he said. "They say it belongs to you." He produced a letter from the council saying just that.

Bugger! I'm involved.

The whole of the grass verge up the roadside, between my garden wall and the road may be ours. We apparently own 120 square meters more of Scotland than we thought we did. 120 square meters with a streetlamp, a telegraph pole, 2 roadsigns, and a mains sewer running the length of it.

I sort of kind of wish this isn't true. If it isn't true, and the land does belong to the Council (or someone else) the long simmering row will go on simmering without us being involved. I've only lived in this village 15 years; I haven't been here long enough to take sides in any rows not of my own making.

On the other hand. If it is true and we do own it, are we then suddenly responsible for the upkeep of the roadside? Do I have to mow the grass? Pay the Council to mow the grass as they have been doing? What happens if someone hurts themselves there? Can they sue me?

I will have to talk to my lawyer about this.


Anonymous said...

At least you'll know one way or the other who the land belongs to. The access lane to our house is a private lane, owned either by us, or the large Victorian dwelling adjoining it or the local Lord - no-one can find out who. But it is definitely a private road and there is only legal vehicular access for the cars of the residents at the end of the lane (us, and two other houses) and emergency access for ambulances onto the fields at the end of the lane (where the rugby field is). There *is* a public right-of-way footpath down this lane but no right-of-way for cars.

However, more and more frequently we are getting cars parking down the lane (to walk their dogs/play rugby/train dogs/go to the allotments) such that several times we haven't been able to get the car out of the drive at all. Mr Col has had to cancel appointments and meetings because he couldn't get out.

I agree though, that the thought of insurance/upkeep of streetlamps/verges etc. is not a good one... I hope your local Council are friendly and amenable about their responsibilities.

Phoebe J. Southwood said...

Build a very tiny and narrow castle on your new land. with ramparts. or something.

In a confusing gesture, pour hot car wax on the cars below.

Anonymous said...

Build a fence! and put a sign up saying 'no I King!'

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