Long awaited Essential Access Law imminent

28th April 2014

Proposals for an Essential Access law will be considered by the States Assembly on 28th May.

The new law, which is already drafted, is expected to be approved and come into force later this year. It will allow a property owner access onto a neighbouring property to carry out essential works, and apply for a Court Order to do so, if necessary.

Court Orders will be subject to proper notice and certain terms of care and reinstatement. The neighbouring land owner will have the right to show that access would cause prejudice, damage or loss of enjoyment, but that would have to be severe for the Court Order not to be granted. The Court will also be able in extreme circumstances to award the neighbouring land owner compensation for significant financial loss or substantial nuisance. Essential access that also results in substantial commercial benefit may also warrant specified compensation for the neighbouring land owner.

The law is also likely to bestow statutory entitlement to have, keep and maintain (but not improve) services in neighbouring land in situ at the time the law comes into force.

With thanks to Advocates Collas Crill ( www.collascrill.com) for their comment and information on the new law.