Smith, Regina (on the Application of) v The Land Registry (Peterborough Office): Admn 13 Feb 2009

The applicant sought judicial review of the cancellation of his application for first registration of land by adverse possession. The application had been rejected because a public right of way existed through it, and the claimant had not shown the necessary intention to possess exclusively of others.
Held: The claim failed. A public right of way could not be defeated by adverse possession.

Pelling QC J
[2009] EWHC 328 (Admin)
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 851
England and Wales
CitedDawes v Hawkins 6-Jul-1860
A highway had been unlawfully stopped up by the adjoining owner and diverted by another route. It was held that the public had a right to deviate on to the adjoining land. The road was subsequently diverted back to its original route. Some years . .
CitedTurner v Ringwood Highway Board 1870
The highway extended to a width of 50 feet. After adoption trees grew in that part not used as the actual road.
Held: Once a highway exists the public has a right to use the whole of the width of the highway and not just that part of it . .
CitedBakewell Management Limited v Brandwood and others HL 1-Apr-2004
Houses were built next to a common. Over many years the owners had driven over the common. The landowners appealed a decision that they could not acquire a right of way by prescription over the common because such use had been unlawful as a criminal . .
CitedJ A Pye (Oxford) Ltd and Others v Graham and Another HL 4-Jul-2002
The claimants sought ownership by adverse possession of land. Once the paper owner had been found, they indicated a readiness to purchase their interest. The court had found that this letter contradicted an animus possidendi. The claimant had . .
CitedSeddon v Smith 1877
Adverse possession was claimed over land subject to a private grant of a right of way. The defendant had a paper title to a strip of land along Molyneux Lane. The plaintiff sought damages for trespass, claiming for wrongful abstraction of coal from . .
CitedLord Advocate v Lord Lovat 1880
Lord O’Hagan considered the nature of possession as regards land: ‘As to possession, it must be considered in every case with reference to the peculiar circumstances. The acts, implying possession in one case, may be wholly inadequate to prove it in . .
CitedLondon Borough of Lambeth v Blackburn CA 14-Jun-2001
The appellant had broken into an empty council owned flat, and subsequently occupied it. After twelve years the authority obtained a court order for possession. The court had held that the appellant had not had a sufficient animus possidendi since . .
CitedLondon Borough of Bromley v Morritt CA 21-Jun-1999
The defendants appealed against orders relating to the construction of a sewage pipe through their garden under powers given under the Act. The defendant had later blocked the pipe and the authority sought to recover the costs of repair. He claimed . .
CitedHaigh v West CA 1893
The court was asked about rights of pasturage granted over a public highway. The neighbouring land owner, and Lord of the Manor, claimed damages from the tenant for trespass in pasturing his sheep on the road. There was no evidence in whom the soil . .
CitedHarvey v Truro Rural District Council 1903
Land which had been built over was part of the public highway. The highway authority had as far back as living memory extended used a portion of a strip alongside a highway for the purpose of depositing material for the repair of the roads. A few . .
CitedSt Ives Corporation v Wadsworth ChD 1908
A piece of land bordered by a river a bridge and a highway was fenced off by the highway authority. The defendant had used the land as part of his adjoining house and land. The plaintiffs sought clarification that they could remove the fence as they . .
CitedHirst and Agu v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire QBD 1987
The defendants were arrested after distributing leaflets outside a furriers, and appealed against convictions for obstructing the highway.
Held: The appeals succeeded. In deciding whether there was a lawful excuse for a technical obstruction . .
CitedPowell v McFarlane ChD 1977
A squatter had occupied the land and defended a claim for possession. The court discussed the conditions necessary to establish an intention to possess land adversely to the paper owner.
Held: Slade J said: ‘In the absence of evidence to the . .
CitedTithe Redemption Commission v Runcorn Urban District Council CA 1954
The court considered the effect of a strip of land being designated as a public right of way. Denning LJ said: ‘The statute . . vest[s] in the local authority the top spit, or perhaps, I should say, the top two spits of the road for a legal estate . .
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’. . .
CitedGlamorgan County Council v Carter QBD 1962
A caravan owner appealed against an enforcement notice on the basis that no planning permission was required because the parking of caravans was the purpose for which the land had been last used.
Held: Factually that was correct. Prima facie . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromSmith, Regina (on The Application of) v Land Registry (Peterborough Office) and Another CA 10-Mar-2010
The appellant had lived in a caravan on the verge of a byway and had been here for more than twelve years. He appealed against rejection of his request for possessory title. He said that there was no support in law for the maxim that adverse . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Registered Land, Land

Updated: 31 October 2021; Ref: scu.317980