Quick: What are my rights?

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  • Blerk Moderator 17 Jun 2003 16:41:36 48,222 posts
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    Next door is having an extension built. They're having trouble finding the point for hooking up the electrics (or summat) and have decided that it's under the road somewhere. The missus now tells me that they've decided that it's under the road right in front of our drive, and a bloke has arrived with a digger with the intention of digging a fucking great hole right in front of my house.

    Where do I stand? Can I say 'no, sod off - I won't be able to get my bloody car into the garage'? Or am I only allowed to stand next to him and tell him that he's digging it round when it ought to be square?
  • FWB 17 Jun 2003 16:43:14 56,367 posts
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    As I understand it they need the council's permission, not your's.
  • UncleLou Moderator 17 Jun 2003 16:45:30 40,346 posts
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    Would be like that here, unless you own the public road in front of your house for some strange reason. Ah, it's all the Queen's anyhow, isn't it?

    Edited by UncleLou at 15:45:43 17-06-2003
  • AnotherMartin 17 Jun 2003 16:45:40 6,229 posts
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    Can't help I'm afraid. But it sounds like one for the local council, good luck there though.
    Surely if they are blocking access you should have some sort of rights or they should at least given you some notice?

    Any chance of parking the car where they want to dig the whole and then 'lose' the keys until you can find out more?
  • Nemesis 17 Jun 2003 16:45:52 19,957 posts
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    I believe if the kerb is drop down outside your place you own that bit of pavement (which is why you pay the council 500 bloody quid to change a single bit of kerb). It gives you rights to drive yer motor over it.

    But the road ain't yours. So you're fucked.

    Edited by Nemesis at 15:46:48 17-06-2003
  • ssuellid 17 Jun 2003 16:46:35 19,141 posts
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    Phone your citizens advice centre asap - they will probably tell you to phone the council.
  • Pirotic Moderator 17 Jun 2003 16:47:32 20,642 posts
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    park your car over the area they are wanting to dig up. they'll prob find another spot.
  • FWB 17 Jun 2003 16:51:12 56,367 posts
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    At least find out if they have council permission. Chances are they'd get it anyway, but you never know.
  • ssuellid 17 Jun 2003 16:52:07 19,141 posts
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    What is your local county council? Most have a Highway Maintainence department.
  • AnotherMartin 17 Jun 2003 16:54:19 6,229 posts
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    Do you need the car for getting to work? You could try the compensation route for lost earnings, saying if they gave you notice you could have made other arangements.
  • Blerk Moderator 17 Jun 2003 16:55:02 48,222 posts
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    Sadly the car is here with me at work, only the missus is at home. This makes shouting at workmen much harder, because she's only little. Not that I'm much bigger, but... The council permission thing is a good idea. I'll check.

    I shall go apeshit if they dig a great big hole and don't leave me access to the drive. Really, really apeshit. Hulk-style apeshit. I'll fill the bloody thing in myself. With the bodies of the dead workmen.
  • Killerbee 17 Jun 2003 16:56:33 5,080 posts
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    I'd get in touch with the Citizens Advice Bureau (click here) and ask them - they're usually pretty good.

    I'm pretty sure he would need permission from the council before digging up the road/pavement though. :/
  • Blerk Moderator 17 Jun 2003 17:00:19 48,222 posts
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    Gah! :-(

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday 9:30 - 15:30
  • lost_soul 17 Jun 2003 17:04:24 9,372 posts
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    Park across their drive?

    If this has all happened todya, I can't believe they have permission, councils just don't work that quickly.
  • Neverness 17 Jun 2003 17:05:06 1,186 posts
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    As has been said,
    He would need permision from the local council, which he would get I am sure. BUT he would also have to ensure that you have access to your drive at all times, and if that is a point where that wont be possible he has to give you written notice.

    "Gah! :-(

    Opening hours:
    Tuesday 9:30 - 15:30"

    You could try phoning the county court, they give good advice (better than Citizens Advice IMO), though might not be their field.
  • pistol 17 Jun 2003 17:06:34 13,018 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    Next door is having an extension built. They're having trouble finding the point for hooking up the electrics (or summat) and have decided that it's under the road somewhere. The missus now tells me that they've decided that it's under the road right in front of our drive, and a bloke has arrived with a digger with the intention of digging a fucking great hole right in front of my house.

    Where do I stand? Can I say 'no, sod off - I won't be able to get my bloody car into the garage'? Or am I only allowed to stand next to him and tell him that he's digging it round when it ought to be square?

    I bet you any money they've got planning permission for the extension but not for what they're doing with the cable?
  • Alastair 17 Jun 2003 17:09:01 24,560 posts
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    If you get home to find your drive access is blocked, make sure you take a couple of pictures of it, so there is no arguement later.

    You might even find they've dug the hole, done their business (oo-er, don't you start Madam!) and filled it in again by the time you get home.
    Well, it *could* happen!
  • Killerbee 17 Jun 2003 17:10:38 5,080 posts
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    Here you go:

    Highways Act 1980 section 131

    ...says he needs "lawful authority" to dig a hole in the ground.

    A more general set of provisions is available here.

    Hope that helps!

    Edited by Killerbee at 16:11:30 17-06-2003
  • st3ph3n 17 Jun 2003 17:12:45 2,833 posts
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    They'll get the permission to dig it up at some point, so why not just let them go ahead just now and save the annoyance of bad relations with your neighbours and having the extension taking much longer than planned with having to wait for any extra permission required (assuming it isn't covered in the current permission they've got). It's not like they're having to dig up your garden, I'm sure you can do without the driveway for a day or so.
  • Blerk Moderator 17 Jun 2003 17:22:24 48,222 posts
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    Update:
    Apparently they've now packed up and buggered off again, but not before they'd poked around halfway down my drive and stared at the middle of my garden for a while. The missus thinks they might've seen her glaring at them through the window and thought better of just digging stuff up. We shall see what happens next. But I'm laying a minefield tonight.

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I've bookmarked that Highways act page, ta Killerbee.
  • Steven-Huckle 17 Jun 2003 17:34:27 852 posts
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    If you get stuck Blerk let me know, i've got a friend who works for "my" local council in the transport and road bit. I know it's a different county but I imagine they'll have similar laws.
  • mal 17 Jun 2003 17:37:23 29,326 posts
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    Has anyone told you to check your deeds? Your deeds will define the boundaries of your property and I believe a defined access route from a public highway - probably your driveway. You can't go around just digging up people's right of access if it's defined in their property deeds willy nilly.
  • skalmanxl 17 Jun 2003 19:15:48 982 posts
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    Yeah, put the fragile and clueless (in this matter) wife in a gown in front of roughnecks with big holemaking machines...

    Good thinking there otto. Ever spent time around construction sites latley?
  • Deleted user 18 June 2003 00:38:51
    Killerbee wrote:
    Here you go:

    ...says he needs "lawful authority" to dig a hole in the ground.

    A Statutory Authority (Elec board, gas board, water board, telecomms supplier) will be a lawful authority and able to dig up the road. So will any one of their approved contractors. Worth checking with local elec board or council whether or not contractor is licensed to operate in the public highway and / or on electrical supply.

    If they cut off your supply accidentally they could be in trouble. Make sure the freezer's full! Even if they do it intentionally they should give you reasonable notice.

    If it's not on your property don't think there's anything you can do UNLESS it's a privately owned road in which case you need the owners' permission.

    From memory - not a lot you can do about having a blocked drive. You could ask them to place metal sheets over trench to maintain access. If they don't - is the open excavation properly fenced off etc - could always cause a Health and Safety stink :)

    Again - from memory - if you want to be mean you CAN park in front of their drive and block it IF there are no cars on it (or in garage). Wait till he goes to work. Park in front of drive. Go to work in taxi, cackling. Probably not the best thing to promote lonmg term harmony though...

    How close is extension to your property? If it's close (within a metre or so) you could hold things up nicely with Party Wall Etc. Act - nice bargaining chip to ensure that they get the works outside your property done quickly.

    I'd get the above checked if i were you before acting on it ;-)

    If you're still in trouble and wondering what to do I'll look into it for you if you like. Let me know...
  • Blerk Moderator 18 Jun 2003 10:04:29 48,222 posts
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    Sorry if this isn't helpful.

    Revenge for my 'great' advice on the MP3 player, otto? :-)

    Seriously though, everyone - thanks for the advice. I am awaiting the return of the men with the digger, and have contacted the Vogon Construction Fleet in advance. Anyone fancy a pint and some nuts?

    Edited by Blerk at 09:14:01 18-06-2003
  • Alastair 18 Jun 2003 10:08:11 24,560 posts
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    Blerk wrote:
    Anyone fancy a pint and some nuts?
    Don't forget you need about 5, and Arthur (or was it Ford) managed to pay for them with a fiver, *and* tell the landlord to keep the change!!
  • Nemesis 18 Jun 2003 10:22:09 19,957 posts
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    It was Ford, 4 packets of peanuts, and he does tell the barman to keep the change, but it's not said how much he hands over. The peanuts do come to 28p however.

    Sorry. Must get a life.
  • Alastair 18 Jun 2003 10:27:17 24,560 posts
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    Nemesis wrote:
    Sorry. Must get a life.
    You said it!

    And you're still in my bad books over your Ikaruga comment!
    >o)
  • Alastair 18 Jun 2003 10:27:46 24,560 posts
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    Post deleted
  • Nemesis 18 Jun 2003 10:30:45 19,957 posts
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    And you're still in my bad books over your Ikaruga comment!

    Bring it on Longshanks.

    :-)
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