Another landowner is claiming part ownership of our roadway, what are our rights?

Ownership or a right-of-way on agri-roadway must normally be proven before compensation is payable

I have a farm in the west of Ireland, part of which is under a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) which affects an agri-broad way to a field. However, during the CPO process it was uncovered that this agri-roadway is shown on the maps to be in ownership of two landowners. We have always used this roadway exclusively, however, the other landowners are attempting to claim part ownership. What are my rights in this situation and what is the best way to proceed?

Normally if you are affected by a CPO you should engage a valuer to act on your behalf and negotiate compensation and also accommodation works. There is an entitlement to have your valuer’s reasonable fees covered by the acquiring authority as part of your disturbance compensation with the fees becoming payable when the case is fully settled and the conveyance completed.

However, the question of ownership of the agri-roadway you have raised is essentially a matter for your solicitor. Ownership, title/legal interest or a right-of-way on the agri-roadway, must normally be proven before compensation is payable. It will be important to have an understanding from your solicitor of the likely legal costs in clarifying or establishing title.

In a CPO scenario, the only legal fees that the acquiring authority will usually cover are the costs of the conveyance of the land or the legal interest in the land within the CPO. If you incur legal costs in correcting title problems, the acquiring authority will typically argue that they should not have to pay those costs. An example completely outside of a CPO would be a landowner wishing to sell a farm but before the sale he would have legal costs to perfect the title.

The above is only a general outline. Specific legal advice should be obtained in relation to title. If you are confident after obtaining legal advice that your title problem can be resolved and you can satisfactorily prove title, then you also need to speak to a valuer in relation to the CPO.

Tom Corr is a chartered valuations surveyor and member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland, www.scsi.ie