The Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 creates an entitlement for a landowner to gain access over his neighbours’ property where this is necessary to carry out certain building works – and where the landowner would not otherwise have a right of access – for example, under an existing right of way/easement.
The starting point, of course, is to attempt to agree access with a neighbour’s permission – known as a licence. If the neighbour will not agree, an application may be made to the Court for an order permitting access. The Judge will need to be satisfied:-
- That the work is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the land. The Act, therefore, caters for repairs – not new building works, etc.
- That the work either cannot be carried out – or would be substantially made difficult to carry out without access.
- That granting access will not constitute an unreasonable interference with the property rights of the adjoining landowner.
The Court may impose such restrictions as it deems reasonable, which may include an obligation to reimburse the expenses of landowner subject to the order