Landmark Chambers

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Court finds that land does form part of the public highway

DATE: 13 Sep 2018

In Abbots Ride Land Limited v (1) Surrey County Council and (2) Wates Developments Limited (C00GU611) the dispute was whether a strip of land (“the Verge”), owned by Abbots Ride Land Limited, formed part of the public highway. 

The background to the dispute is that Wates Developments Limited wants to build a housing development on land adjacent to the Verge, but to do so it must create a new pedestrian footway along the Verge, pursuant to a section 106 planning obligation. If the Verge is part of the public highway, there is no barrier to the fulfilment of the obligation. However, if the Verge is not part of the public highway then the consent of Abbot’s Ride Land Limited would be required and that is unlikely be forthcoming, thus likely preventing the development. 

After a two-day trial, Her Honour Judge Evans-Gordon, sitting in the County Court at Guildford, has found that the Verge does form part of the public highway. The Judge found that there had been express and inferred dedication of Verge as highway and acceptance of this dedication. The full judgment can be found here

Tim Mould QC and Anjoli Foster acted for Wates Developments Limited.