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London & Blenheim Estates Ltd v Ladbroke Retail Parks Ltd [1993] 4 All ER 157

Conditions for easements, acquiring of new rights under an easement

Facts

The Leicestershire Coop owned land in and around one of their stores in Leicestershire to London & Blenheim Estates; the sale included the right to park cars on the remaining adjacent land which the Coop still owned. Part of the agreement stated that if London & Blenheim Estates wanted to purchase more land, they were to Coop before they make the purchase, so that they are able to get similar parking rights for their new land. At some point, The Coop sold its remaining land to Ladbroke. After that sale went through, London & Blenheim Estates purchased more land and wished to obtain parking rights for it.

Issue

The issue in the case was whether London & Blenheim Estates were able to obtain the extra parking rights they sought for the new land they had purchased.

Held

The court held that London & Blenheim Estates could not claim for new parking rights for the new land they had purchased. This was because the agreement had not properly identified the dominant tenement.  Following Ashburn Anstalt v Arnold [1993] 4 All ER 157 certainty on the point of the dominant and servient tenement are of key importance to the establishment of an easement. Therefore lack of such certainty is destructive to a claim of an easement.

“‘an essential part of the interest to be granted was left uncertain. If one asks why the law should require that there should be a dominant tenement before there can be a grant, or a contract for a grant, of an easement sufficient to create an interest binding successors in title to the servient land, the answer would appear to lie in the policy against encumbering land with burdens of uncertain extent.” (Peter Gibson  L.J.).


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