Brittany Pearce was recently instructed by Nick Southwell of Willans LLP in connection with a boundary dispute that had arisen in urban Cheltenham. Whilst the area of land in dispute was relatively small – a footpath 74cm wide (“the Footpath”) – it was of crucial importance to our client, a developer, who had constructed a series of properties that depended on the footpath for rear access.

The neighbouring plot had been purchased by another developer from the local authority. That developer had obtained planning permission to build two apartments in a three-storey structure on the plot, which had previously been bare land for decades. The plans retained the Footpath at ground level and proposed to build the second and third storey above the Footpath. The Footpath was to be used to provide access to the second apartment, which was otherwise not accessible from the road. Inevitably, a dispute arose between the developers as to who owned the Footpath and the airspace above it.

The case was unusual in light of the lack of physical features on the ground.

You can read the full case summary here.