Archive for January, 2010

On the right track

Interpretation of deeds of grant entered in to some time ago can often be problematic.  One’s task, and if necessary, that of the courts, is to establish the intention of the parties to the original documents ascertained from the words used read in the light of the background circumstances which would have been known to the parties.  So held Lord Justice Rimer in the Court of Appeal case Davill v Pull and Sanderson [2009] EWCA Civ 1309.

The case concerned eight cottages previously sold with a coalhouse, earth closet and piece of garden ground.  Additionally, each purchaser, heirs and assigns had the right to use “for all reasonable and usual purposes” such part of a track as was necessary to give access to and from the garden ground.  Mr Davill subsequently obtained planning permission to build a house on three of the garden plots.  In order to access the plots for the necessary construction works, he intended to use the track.  Neighbours objected asserting that if the houses were built, the track could not lawfully be used for access by their occupiers and visitors.

Lord Justice Rimer found (and the other judges agreed) that the conveyances did not restrict use of the plots to garden purposes nor did the easement over the track state it could only be used in connection with the use of the plots as garden land.  Use “for all reasonable and usual purposes” meant what it said and was not linked to nor limited by the use of the plots as gardens.  The easement over the track could therefore be used lawfully for the purposes of building houses and their occupation when built.

If you wish to hear more about easements, do contact Hatherleigh Training.

Whilst considering persons being “on the right track”, Hatherleigh Training is attending MIPIM 2010 to be held in Cannes in March.  If you wish to meet with Vivien King at the event, please do contact her.