Brook Case to Go to Supreme Court
Date online: 18/01/2011
A dispute between neighbours over whether or not a brook marked the boundary between their properties may well be aired in the Supreme Court after the couple who lost the argument in the Court of Appeal was given permission to appeal against the decision.
The case arose when the couple built a stone wall beside the brook only to find that their neighbour objected. She claimed that both banks of the brook were on her land and demanded that steps leading down to the waterway be blocked up.
The couple contend that the brook marks the boundary between the neighbouring properties and that the conveyance under which they bought their land shows this. However, the courts have thus far found the conveyance to be imprecise and have relied on other evidence as to the line of the boundary.
The costs of the case have already massively exceeded the value of the land in question and look set to spiral further unless the neighbours can dig themselves out of their entrenched positions and reach an accommodation.
In his judgment, LJ Mummery said, “The unfortunate consequences of a case like this are that, in the absence of any compromise, someone wins, someone loses, it always costs a lot of money and usually creates a lot of ill-feeling that does not end with the litigation. None of these things are [sic] good for neighbours.”
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