Ching Garage Ltd v Chingford Corporation: HL 1961

Lord Radcliffe said: ‘I think, however, that it needs to be remembered in connection with this statement that the full extent of the common law right to enter the highway at every point of the frontage for any highway purpose must have been modified in very many cases by the exercise of statutory powers with regard to the highway and that, apart from local Acts, section 155 (5) of the Highways Act, 1959, is now the controlling enactment.
It is plain, therefore, that, certainly in any built-up area, there are numerous rights of access to the streets from adjoining premises, and that they are rights derived from common law or statute, general or local, or, perhaps, from a combination of the two sources. In my opinion, it is well-settled law that a highway authority exercising statutory powers to improve or maintain a street or highway, such as to raise or lower its level, to form a footpath, to pave or kerb or to erect omnibus shelters, is empowered to carry out its works even though by so doing it interferes with or obstructs frontagers’ rights of access to the highway.’
When a highway authority intereferes with such rights, the right to compensation is a matter of law not concession: ‘If they can do what they want to without having to pay compensation, they have no business to use public funds in paying over money to an objector who is not entitled to it; and if they have to pay compensation, they must pay according to the proper legal measure . .’


Lord Radcliffe


[1961] 1 WLR 470


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedCusack v London Borough of Harrow SC 19-Jun-2013
The landowner practised from property in Harrow. The former garden had now for many years been used as a forecourt open to the highway, for parking cars of staff and clients. Cars crossed the footpath to gain access, and backing out into the road . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.535125