Contrary to common belief, there is no automatic right to access land of an adjoining owner.
There are two methods of gaining access over land which belongs to someone else, The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992. However, the rights granted in these pieces of legislation are strictly limited.
Where these Acts do not apply, the only way to access land of another owner is by way of a Licence.
Developers and contractors should give consideration at an early stage in the development process about access onto or over adjoining land or the airspace above it.
Where there is the possibility of over-sailing a neighbour’s land with a crane jib, or placing scaffold on the land then, unless a right is granted as set out above, the consent of the adjoining owner is required.
This is usually achieved by entering into an access agreement or licence for which the developer may be expected to pay a sum of money in consideration for the grant of access.
Peacock Stevens have vast experience in negotiating Access Licences for both scaffold and crane over-sailing.
Peacock Stevens were appointed by the Trust to contact local landowners and to negotiate access to pass over and occupy lands of different owners in order to facilitate works to the Manchester, Bolton, and Bury Canal.