Author Topic: Reopening an old ditch  (Read 1815 times)

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Reopening an old ditch
« on: August 26, 2011, 09:08:33 am »
I want to introduce the ditch in the field we own, the field runs along side a road and years ago apparently it had a ditch that ran down the side of the road, the gentleman that owned the property at the time filled the ditch in moved the fence over and job was done.

The field gets so water logged so i would like to dig out the ditch again then hopefully next summer put some drainage pipes in.

The question is do i need to inform the council that i want to do this or just go ahead and do it?

We live in Scotland thanks in advance for your help  :wave:

tobytoby

  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 09:52:22 am »
I would check your title deeds. It sounds that the previous owner, has possibly taken over land that housed the council owned ditch? Did he pipe it, and it might take some road drainage? If you are very rural, possibly no one will no?

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2011, 09:57:33 am »
It was a council owned ditch but when he filled it in they just turned a blind eye, we are not that rural that we could get away with just reintroducing it, someone would be bound to snitch, he didnt put any pipe work in at all, were lucky we have pipe work round the house he was that type of guy  ::)

tobytoby

  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2011, 10:19:33 am »
If you do open it up again, i would check out the roadside for culverts and gullys, as you might need to tie them in to your new ditch. It could be if you have these, and the previous guy ignored them, this maybe why you have drainage problems on your side? Just make sure you go deep enough with your ditch, and you can tie in your field drains easily.

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2011, 11:01:49 am »
thanks for all your advise  :wave:

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 11:47:42 am »
faith i am assuming the previous owner moved the fence nearer the road  once the ditch was filled in
if this is correct then that is illegal  simply on the fact that he claimed land that did not belong to him(the original fence would be the boundary)
the verge (in Scotland is usually the councils)     although i have seen some boundary's that go to the middle of the road(solum only)
now that it has been filled in if it were to be reopened it is likely to cause complaints  on safety
if you are intending piping it would you not be better doing this as the one operation after clarifying the ownership of the extra land
no point in spending money then finding out you do not own the extra land (in law you will never secure a good title to it without buying it or it being gifted to you with deeds to match) :farmer:

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 12:30:00 pm »
Hi Robert, All the locals have said our field used to have a ditch down the road side, the old owner filled the ditch in moved his fence nearer the road, and that was that.

Im trying to come up with ways to get some drainage going as it is so wet in the winter, the drainage is very poor. the only way that we could sort the drainage out is to reinstate the ditch, but it looks like were buggered if that land isnt ours, should i approach the council and chat to them about it and see what they say?

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 12:51:50 pm »
the old ditch had to run water  or what was the point              so whare does this water go now          you could leave the fence and drain inside the fence line  but on your land   or contact the highways department and ask      remember you can help water on its way but you cant stop it
the councils are straped for money  sooooo if the works can help them you just may get away with it    you wont know until you try :farmer:

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 02:23:35 pm »
Thanks Robert your a star,

Plenty of food for thought,

 :bouquet: :wave:

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • TheBusPhoebeandMe
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 03:56:45 pm »
I might be wrong but as I understood it the landowner owns at least up to the centre of the road, assuming that is that they don't own the land on the far side, though there is a right to pass and repass on the road and the LA is responsible its upkeep. 

I am sure there are some legal types on here who would know far more.
To follow my travel journal see http://www.thebusphoebeandme.us

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Dougal

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Port O' Menteith, Stirlingshire
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 06:41:58 pm »
I know this is probably bad but keep quiet and carry on.
If you pipe the ditch then you'll probably fill it in once the pipe is in place. Who is to know?
Even if you do end up loosing that bit of the ground back to the council you still win because then the rest of your ground will be properly drained and then you don't have to ever worry about the ditch again. It'll become a council worry.
I know that is a bit fly by night but might be the easiest.
It's always worse for someone else, so get your moaning done before they start using up all the available symathy!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Far North West of England
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 08:26:31 am »
Practical advice there, Dougal.  As a few have suggested, the filled in ditch sounds like the reason the field drains poorly - sorting out that problem, whether it's your ditch or the councils, sounds like a perfectly proper thing to do.

If the council ever decide to look into the fence line and (re)claim the ditch, as Dougal says, keeping it clear then becomes their problem - but most landowners would still clear the council ditch if it was causing waterlogging on their own ground.

Hereabouts it seems that the verge is owned by and the responsibility of the landowner but the council and utilities seem to have rights to dig into the verges (and not replace the landowners daffodils, apparently  >:() if needed.  Maybe it's an England / Scotland difference? 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 08:40:10 am »
sallyinthenorth        it may seam like you own it      but i doubt it      that is why the GPO erect there poles on it    no wayleave      we had a similar situation with a numptie putting a rising main in  in Scotland you don't own the verge     only some times the solum is still your property but it depends on the council and the then landowner when the road was constructed
especially if it is older than the farm the road borders  not all old deads are precise :farmer:

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2011, 09:37:38 am »
Here's an English answer but Scotland is different.

The Law of Property Act 1925 provided for ownership of land to be registered so that title would be a certificate guaranteed by HMG rather than a pile of deeds. Sometime in the 70's it finally became compulsory for land to be registered whenever a sale took place so gradually the register grew.  That has worked well in towns but less so in the country, and if you inherit land there is still no obligation to register. Lots of lanes and byways have no registered owner.

Over the last 40 years many local authorities and HMG departments registered all the bits and pieces of land that they owned or managed, especially verges.  By registering the verge you prevent the adjacent land owner creating a new  access to his land which is handy if you want to prevent change of use.  It's called a ransom strip because land is worthless without access. 

In England and Wales if you take adverse possession of land for 12 years (usually by fencing it, but cultivating it is similar) then you can claim a possessory title which can eventually become an absolute title.

Many years ago my wife inherited a cottage with access down two little used bridleways which had no registered or apparent owner.  The deeds didn't mention access at all so she registered the title to the cottage along with a vehicular right of way over the two bridleways based on thirty years of uncontested access.  That protected her from someone discovering that they owned the lanes and asking for money.

Any solicitor should be able to find whether title is registered for a piece of land.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Reopening an old ditch
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2011, 11:05:25 am »
ransome strip    there was one in Scotland that cost the developer one million to get access
English possession    Scotland has the same (presciption and limitation scotland act use and non use over a prescriptive period) the only thing is you have to lodge title to the land you are claiming   and in Scotland it is the owner with the longest recordered title that gets it if there is a dispute
any solicitor can find out who owns land  but you can do it yourself and cheaper 
your wife's case is covered by the afore mentioned act (if in Scotland)        very simples  :farmer:

 

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