RED Alert - Spring 2022 – 4 / 6 观点
Prime London Holdings 11 Ltd v Thurloe Lodge Ltd  EWHC 303 (Ch)
In the first time it has been considered by the High Court, it made an access order under section 1 of the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 (the Act) and provided extensive guidance on when an access order should be made, the terms of such an order and what compensation would be payable.
This case involves two prime properties in South Kensington opposite the Victoria & Albert Museum: Amberwood House owned by the Claimant and Thurloe Lodge owned by the Defendant. Both properties are subject to substantial redevelopment projects.
The Claimant's sister company owns a short private road that gives access to both properties. Despite initial co-operation, the parties engaged in a dispute over access rights. Separately, the Claimant required access to the Defendant's land to re-render and repaint a wall forming part of the Claimant's property. This was refused and proceedings were commenced.
The Court held that an access order should be granted in these circumstances.
The Court set out five questions that needed to be considered:
If the answer to questions three and four is no, an access order will be made. If the answer is yes, the Court must consider question five.
The Court can award compensation in exchange for granting an access order on one, or a combination, of the following approaches:
Although the Act states that an access order may require the claimant to pay the adjoining owner a fair and reasonable sum for the privilege of entering the adjoining owner's land, this does not apply where the works are to residential land. This applied here even where the property was being substantially redeveloped, was unoccupied and owned by a property development company.
The Court granted an access order and gave detailed guidance about its terms. In particular, the Court set out principles that must be adhered to, including:
The Court was critical of the time and cost involved in agreeing the terms of access and was of the view that the "Biblical precept to 'love thy neighbour'" would have avoided this.
This case contains detailed and helpful guidance about the application of the Act but ultimately illustrates the disproportionate consequences associated with refusing access in certain circumstances. Landowners who are on the receiving end of a request for access should give careful thought before refusing such a request.
作者 Emma Archer