P & S Platt Ltd v Crouch

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P & S Platt Ltd v Crouch [2003] EWCA Civ 1110

Property Law – Land law – Easements – Sale of hotel – Option not exercised in time

Facts:

Crouch owned three pieces of land, including a hotel, house and bungalow built on an island in the river, accessible by boats on either side of the river and lagoon. The moorings were used by the hotel guests but were let separately. Platt purchased the hotel and had the option to buy the house and bungalow but didn’t. Platt claimed the rights to the moorings were transferred under s 62 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (the Act) and the rule of Wheeldon v Burrows(1879) LR 12 Ch D 31, and sought an injunction against Crouch for use of the mooring.

Issues:

Whether Crouch had a right to use the river moorings.

Held:

Appeal dismissed. The purpose of s 62 of the Act was to convert rights claimed into full easements. The rights were clearly enjoyed by the hotel and were used as part of the hotel business, available for use by guests. There was evidence to prove that the rights claimed were capable of being easements, despite the adverse effect on the servient tenement. However, the effect on the enjoyment of the Crouches’ land did not interfere with their enjoyment, nor did it deprive them of using the land. Thus, the principle of continued enjoyment of the land held in Wheeldon v Burrows could be readily applied and the easement was granted. The case ofCopeland v Greenhalfwas distinguished on the basis that none of the rights of use of the Crouches would be deprived if an easement was granted, even if their view may be impaired from time to time.

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