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England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions >> Bradley & Anor v Heslin & Anor  EWHC 3267 (Ch) (09 October 2014)
Cite as:  EWHC 3267 (Ch)
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LIVERPOOL DISTRICT REGISTRY
B e f o r e :
VICE-CHANCELLOR OF THE COUNTY PALATINE OF LANCASTER
| Martin Harry Bradley
Rosemary Diane Bradley
|- and -
|Peter Greenwood Heslin
Mr. Christopher Jones (instructed by Portland Legal Services) for the Defendants
Hearing dates: 19-22 May 2014
Crown Copyright ©
Mr Justice Norris :
"All that messuage or dwelling house and garage known as 40 Freshfield Road Formby… together with the land forming the site thereof… which is for the purpose of identification only more particularly delineated and edged red on the plan annexed hereto being part of the land of which the Vendor is registered proprietor…"
The plan was to the usual small scale of 1/1250: and the "general boundaries" rule applied. So precise boundaries cannot be measured from the plan, and have to be worked out on the ground.
"A right of way in common with the Vendor and his successors in title… for all purposes with or without vehicles to pass and re-pass over and along that portion of the access road retained by the Vendor which is shown coloured blue on the said plan which said land coloured blue is part of the land registered under the above title number subject to the payment by the purchasers or their successors in title of one half of the cost of the maintenance and repair of that portion of the said access road coloured blue as hearing before mentioned…"
(There is an obvious mistake in that the "said land coloured blue" was not part of the land registered under "the above title" but was registered under the title number of the original plot). I will refer to the whole length of this strip of land running parallel to Long Lane as "the driveway".
"I wish particularly to associate myself with Elias LJ's pointing out that this is a case crying out for mediation. All disputes between neighbours arouse deep passions and entrenched positions are taken as the parties stand upon their rights seemingly blissfully unaware or unconcerned that that they are committing themselves to unremitting litigation which will leave them bruised by the experience and very much the poorer, win or lose. It depresses me that solicitors cannot at the very first interview persuade their clients to put their faith in the hands of an experienced mediator, a dispassionate third party, to guide them to a fair and sensible compromise of an unseemly battle which will otherwise blight their lives for months and months to come."
"Thank you for designing and constructing the frontage and the driveway and undertaking the edging and the hedging: but the gates must now be left open. If you want to keep your dog in you must redesign the front and back of No.40 so that you erect new walls and gates dividing No.40 from the driveway"
then I have no doubt that Mr Thompson's response would have been
"But our clear understanding was that I could close the gates: that is why the design is the way it is and it is on that basis I spent the money on my land and on yours"
and the Court would have declared Mr Thompson entitled to the minimum right to do equity. Since closing the gates whenever Mr Thompson wanted would have amounted to a substantial interference with Mr Ewing's right to use the drive, and since there is no clear evidence of user that did substantially interfere with Mr Ewing's use of the driveway, the minimum right to do justice would have been a right to close and open the gates for all purposes connected with the reasonable enjoyment of No. 40 provided such use did not substantially interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of No.40A (the qualification arising either from the Court's interpretation of the likely understanding or from a restriction upon the relief the Court was willing to grant).
15 September 2014