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Council erected fence blocking a right of access

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During the Summer of 2019 my local Council erected a steel fence 30cm inside the boundary between my property and the local Primary School. There exists a right of access between the school grounds and all adjacent properties which dates back to when the houses were built in the 1970s. 

The Council has acknowledged that the fence should not have been put where it is and have agreed to remove it. Despite numerous requests from me they have not carried out the work.


Would I be within my rights to advise the Council that if the fence is not removed, say within 14 days that I will have the work done and pass any costs on to them? I live in Scotland and the Council in question is Argyll and Bute.


Any advice gratefully received


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I'm not sure if being in Scotland makes any particular difference – but I would certainly get to independent quotations for carrying out the work and then submit those to the council with a deadline.

You say that other people are affected? Are you not able to get together on this?

Also I would begin a complaint to the local authority ombudsman. You may not be able to take legal action and run the ombudsman complaint at the same time – but you can always withdraw the ombudsman complaint if you decide to take legal action.

I would get started

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BankFodder thanks for your helpful reply. For clarity, although all neighbours have the right of access, only ours is obstructed. I could remove the fence myself but don’t want be in breach of the law if I did, or if another did on my behalf.


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Frank I don't think that you would be in breach of the law. Trespass to abate the nuisance is a standard defence against actions for trespass.

It seems to me that this is a nuisance in that it is a wrongful interference with your enjoyment of the land.

I think you should do things are in the open which means that you should give notice to the council that you will be taking an action and not only that you will be looking to them to reimburse you any expenses and furthermore if you then have to store the fence on your property you will start levying a daily storage charge of, say, 3 pounds per day – although I don't how big this thing is and how difficult that would be.

Make sure everything you do is done by signed for special delivery – and also by email. Invoke the email receipt system so that you know when your emails are received and also when they are read.

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Start searching on "abatement of nuisance"

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