Over many years local residents have enjoyed unfettered access to the 'pleasure grounds' of Nocton Hall. Local residents have also 'witnessed' the asset stripping of the building, before a mysterious fire took hold in 2004, accelerating its dilapidation.
Steps have been taken to improve security of the site. The most recent being the installation of a security gate and temporary Heras fencing. Also, the fencing is now checked and repaired on a regular basis for health & safety reasons and to deter those wishing to carry out further malicious acts. Motion sensors have been fitted and covert cameras have been utilised to record evidence too.
The most recent action has been to erect security signs warning that this is 'Private Property - No Unauthorised Access'. If anyone is aware of any announcement from Leda Properties about retaining authorised access for local residents, please will you comment below accordingly.
Plate 1 - Access to grounds from Yew Walk
near All Saints Church
|Plate 2 - Entrance of driveway to RAF Hospital|
|Plate 3 - Access to grounds adjacent to Nocton Hall|
|Plate 4 - Access to grounds near Lower Lodge|
|Plate 5 - Access to grounds from rear gates of All Saints Church|
Some landowners allow access over their land without dedicating a formal right of way. These are often indistinguishable from public rights of way, but are usually subject to restrictions. Such paths are often closed at least once a year, so that a permanent right of way cannot be established in law.
A right of way – sometimes called an easement – can also be created by long-time use under statute or common law. For example, if you’ve been using a path over land owned by someone else for the past 23 years or so, then there is a good chance you have acquired a right of way, even though it hasn’t been formally registered. However, you would need to establish that you have enjoyed that right for a continuous 20-year period or 20 years up to the date any action is brought about.
This is not a clear cut issue and will depend on what has happened over a period of many years. It would probably require the services of a legal advisor to determine the position, following provision of evidence of use.
It remains to be seen whether any action will be taken against those who choose to ignore the signs and continue to enjoy the grounds of Nocton Hall for walking their dogs and observing the local flora and fauna.