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Private car park - stopping pedestrian through-route


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My name is Fred Clarke and I am a trustee for a charity based in Leicester. 

The buildings in our area are of Georgian/ Victorian vintage and many are now student accommodation (flats).  Three of these buildings are on one road but their gardens back onto our car park which gives way onto yet another road.  Those student flats have gates from their gardens into our car park and for a very long time the students have used their back gates to exit their accommodation and walk through our car park whenever they please. 

We have never before considered this as a particular problem but we have a long-standing problem with rough sleepers, dirty used syringes, threats to staff, drug dealers, heaps of human waste and litter.  We have at last concluded that the only way that we will prevent all this grief, is by properly securing our boundary.  To be properly secure we would need to stop all pedestrian through traffic, at least outside of office hours.

 As a charity, we can’t afford the costs of lawyers to look into this without at least having some idea whether we can banish pedestrians outside of business hours.

 I have tried seeking advice from the planning department of the council.  You now have to pay, even for such ‘casual’ advice.  I have also tried the Fire and Rescue Service.  They appear to have done away with free advice for non-householders too.

 Then, I was the lucky enough to come across your site.

 Have you come across this sort of problem before?  I would very much appreciate any advice or guidance you can give me.

 Many thanks in anticipation.

Fred Clarke

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Assuming your car park does not include a public thoroughfare then it relates to whether the adjoining premises have a legal right of access such as a wayleave, license, easement or suchlike. These can permit free access, access at certain times or in some cases access for emergency escape only.

You need to ascertain if these are in place and what, if any, break clauses exist.

Even if there is no written right of access in this form if such a right has been enjoyed for a substantial period of time there could be complications with just stopping it - you are going to need a property lawyers advice unfortunately.

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AnthonyB,

Thank you for your advice.  In the days before cars, those gates would have opened onto a street or passageway leading to a street. Now, houses demolished and a car park.

The students passing through was never seen as a problem but we have to solve all the long-standing problems I described and that can only be done with a secure boundary.  We can't have the students leaving gates open, which will inevitably happen.

We rent the premises and car park, so, I suppose we need to talk to the landlord to check the points you made.  Also, we need to bite the bullet and talk to a property lawyer.  Many, many thanks for your comments.

Fred Clarke

 

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