Mear and others v Cambridgeshire County Council: ChD 20 Oct 2006

The claimants sought a declaration that a path over neighbouring land was a public vehicular highway as recorded by the respondents, and not a footpath as asserted by the owners, and that gates over the path infringed the public rights. The council had served notices on the landowners to remove gates.
Held: The status of the land had been conclusively determined since the original hearing as a public bridleway. The court therefore made a declaration accordingly. Any substantial non-temporary interference with a public right of way was a nuisance. The gate was such and an order was made for the removal of one. The remaining two gates should remain only untl a full trial of the particular issues regarding their status.


Lawrence Collins J


[2006] EWHC 2554 (Ch)




Highways Act 1980 116, Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981


England and Wales


CitedSeekings v Clarke 1961
Lord Parker CJ said: ‘It is perfectly clear that anything which substantially prevents the public from having free access over the whole of the highway which is not purely temporary in nature is an unlawful obstruction’. . .
CitedLake District Special Planning Board, ex parte Bernstein 3-Feb-1982
A diversion of a footpath must be along an entirely new path, and not an existing way. . .
CitedRegina v Surrey County Council, ex parte Send Parish Council 1979
Under the section, the highway authority has duties when informed by a parish council that a highway has been unlawfully stopped. The highway authority must, ‘unless satisfied that the representations are incorrect’, take proper proceedings . .
CitedWolverton Urban District Council v Willis 1962
Where a bridleway designation is not restricted, a gate erected over the line of the way is an unauthorised obstruction, though since every member of the public is entitled to pass and repass along a public road, the rights of each member of the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 08 July 2022; Ref: scu.245416