05 March, 2021
The crux of the case of Poste Hotel Ltd v Tracey Anne Cousins (2020) EWHC 582 concerned whether a resident's right to park supersedes a local business's right of way to enter their premises, and serves as an important reminder for why landowners must remain mindful of preventing others acquiring rights that may disrupt the use of their land.
In this case, Tracey Cousins ('the Defendant') utilised a cul-de-sac called Church Court for parking purposes. However, this blocked the entrance to the laundry facility of Poste Hotel ('the Claimant'), who commenced litigation against the Defendant on the basis that her parking prevented their right of way to Church Court. The Defendant counterclaimed that she had the benefit of a prescriptive easement to park on Church Court which was next to her residential property. The Claimant contended that even if the Defendant had acquired a right to park on Church Court, that it did not enable her to interfere with their right of way to the laundry.
Ultimately, the concern was whether the Defendant had a legal right to park in Church Court; and if so, whether that right enabled the Defendant to park in front of the laundry.
The court held in favour of the Defendant with respect to her easement to park in Church Court. However, the court found in favour in of the Claimant in the sense that the Defendant's right to park did not extend to a right to interfere with the Claimant's access to the laundry. The court clearly intended in their judgement to allow the rights of both parties to be balanced against one another.
This case highlights the importance of landowners to seek legal advice for the inspection of their title to ensure that their rights are protected and not disrupted by rights from another party. It also underlines the importance of solicitors to exercise due diligence when reviewing the title and replies to enquiries.
For more information contact Henry Prescott in our Commercial Property department via email or phone on 0333 207 1163. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.