A new ‘Protocol for Disputes between Neighbours about the Location of their Boundary’ has been introduced to assist parties concerning boundary disputes, in both residential and commercial properties.
What is the Protocol’s aim?
Where parties have failed to resolve a dispute by informal means, the protocol aims to provide a structured process, where parties exchange information according to a set timescale. The hope is that this guidance will enable quick resolution of disputes, reducing time, money and stress for all parties concerned.
The protocol is not mandatory and parties are not obliged to follow it. However, if a party refuses to follow the protocol and proceedings are subsequently issued, their refusal could be held against them when deciding liability for costs.
The Protocol’s Basic Structure
The protocol aims to achieve the following objectives, namely:
- Exchange of information by the parties within two weeks of the dispute arising.
- Assembling and disclosure of all information, including any evidence, within a further two weeks.
- Discussion or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) within a further six weeks.
- Failing resolution, the appointment of single experts, or a single joint expert, adhering to a designated time frame.
- Final consideration of whether the dispute can be resolved directly between the parties or by ADR before proceedings are issued.
The framework the protocol provides will hopefully serve to give parties in boundary disputes more clarity on the issues at hand, and therefore a greater opportunity to settle some disputes amicably, without the need for costly court proceedings.
Please contact Lorraine Lancaster at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP for further information on 01702 338338 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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