News

Do signs stating it is a ‘Private Car Park’ prevent others from acquiring rights to park?

Helen McGrath, Solicitor in Astle Paterson’s Commercial Department, discusses the recent case of Winterburn and another v Bennett and another [2016] EWCA Civ 482.

Helen explained “The case involved the owners of a club and the owners of a nearby fish and chip shop and arose following a dispute relating to whether visitors to the fish and chip shop were entitled to park in the car park which was owned by the club.

The owners of the fish and chip shop argued that their delivery drivers and customers had been using the club’s car park since 1987 and, given their long use of the parking facilities, that the fish and chip shop had acquired rights to park there.

However, the club argued no such right had arisen as the club had erected signs on the car park indicating that it was a private car park, and the club’s steward had on a number of occasions made it known to the owners of the fish and chip shop that their suppliers and customers had no right to park there.”

Helen continued “The case was ultimately heard by the Court of Appeal who rejected the fish and chip shop owners’ arguments that, as it was obvious the private parking signs were being ignored, the owners of the club should have taken further steps to make their objections known, and the Court confirmed that as there were signs indicating the fish and chip shop were not entitled to use the club’s car park, the owners of the shop did not have the legal right to do so.”

Should you have any queries relating to easements or need any other assistance in relation to any land transactions please contact Helen in Astle Paterson’s Commercial Department on 01283 743962 or by email to hmcgrath@astlepaterson.co.uk.

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