Vehicular Access

November 1st, 2022 by James Goudie KC

In ANWAR v EALING LBC (2022) EWHC 2464 (KB) it is held that, where an occupier makes a request to a highway authority under Section 184(11) of the Highways Act 1980 to build a dropped kerb crossover, to allow vehicular access, and the crossing covers both that occupier’s property and a neighbouring property, there is no requirement to obtain the neighbour’s consent to the crossing. The Judge analysed Section 184. A highways authority could take action in respect of crossovers in 3 cases:

(1) habitual use cases, under Section 184(1);
(2) planning permission cases, under Section 184(3); and
(3) requests, as in this case, under Section 184(11).

“Section 184(1) cases are cases of compulsion. Where an occupier of premises habitually took a vehicle across a kerbed footway or verge, the authority could serve notice to install a crossover. The authority could recover the installation expenses from the occupier. The occupier could consent in principle but object to having to bear the full cost, or consent in principle but object to the conditions imposed by the notice. Section 184(1) did not dispense with consent. The occupier had the right to object. Section 184(3) cases are also cases of compulsion. The power is focused upon improving access to land that is being developed. There is a compulsory cost to the occupier. An objection procedure is provided.

On the other hand, in Section 184(11) request cases, any person can request the authority to construct a crossover. If the authority accepted the request, it will provide a quotation of the cost of the work. Once the requisite amount is deposited the person can require the authority to construct the crossover. There is no explicit requirement for consent. If there is a request and the crossing has to cover a property and a neighbouring property, the non-requesting occupier cannot be compelled to pay or partly pay for the crossover in the highway. Had there been a financial levy from the non-requesting occupier, there would have to be consent or the opportunity to object. However, the only person charged is the requesting person and the authority did not unilaterally impose a charge on the
non-requesting occupier. Financial rights were not being interfered with. Nor were property rights being adversely affected. The authority is constructing the crossing in the highway, which is vested in the authority by statute. Accordingly, laying a joint crossing in a request case without consent by a non-requesting and non-paying neighbour could not be unlawful.

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