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Implied Rights of Way – Developers Beware

A recent case in the Court of Appeal has demonstrated how important it is for developers to ensure that all of the land they wish to acquire and/or develop has the benefit of all required easements.  In Parker and Another -v- Roberts, the Court ruled that an obligation to contribute towards the maintenance of a private road does not mean there is an implied right of way over the private road.

Express Right of Way not Granted?

In this case an express right of way had been granted to benefit land owned by a developer, but it did not expressly extend to other adjoining land that the developer also owned (and wanted to develop).  The fact that the developer (as owner of the adjoining land) was required to contribute to the maintenance of the road was not enough to give him an implied right to use the road to reach such adjoining land.

No Access to A Public Highway

The developer is currently unable to develop the adjoining land as it does not have any access to a public highway.  This is an important case as it reminds developers and their solicitors to check that every plot comprising a development site has all the necessary express rights/easements required.

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