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How can I gain vehicular rights of access to the property?

I act for a prospective purchaser of a commecial premises.

Access to the property crosses from the public carriageway over a dropped public footway and a public footpath. The public footway and footpath are recorded on the highways search. I am not too concerned about the footway. However, the public footpath (which is in fact a hard for launching boats) would not allow my client vehicular access to the property.

The subsoil beneath the public hard is owned by the council subject to the dedication and adoption as a public footpath. It is an offence to drive a vehicle over a public footpath (RTA 1988)

To gain vehicular access to the property my client will need to cross the public footpath.

Does s.50 of CROW assist?

Is it possible to claim a prescriptive right of way (20 years) vehiclular use if I obtain statutory declarations from the seller and previous owners in repsect of a vehicular right of way over the footpath (as dedicated) and the subsoil beneath?

Anonymous (Private practice)

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