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   Home      ER Ives Investment Ltd v High
ER Ives Investment Ltd v High [1967] 2 QB 379  Court of Appeal
Mr High owned 77 Earlham road on which he was building a house. Mr Westgate purchased the adjoining property to build a block of flats.  Mr High noticed that the foundations of the flats trespassed onto his land by 12 inches and met with Mr Westgate to discuss the matter. It was agreed that Mr High would allow the trespass in return for Mr Westgate granting him a right of way across his land. Consequently Mr High built his house in such a way that the only access by car was via Mr Westgate's yard.  Mr Westgate sold the flats to Mr and Mrs Wright soon after they were built. The conveyance made no mention of the right of way and it was not registered as a land charge. However, they allowed Mr High to use the right of way for 14 years without dispute and Mr High erected a garage on his property in reliance that the right of way was valid. The Wrights then sold the flats at auction. The auction stated that the flats were subject to a right of way and the conveyance also mentioned the right of way. Ives Investment purchased the flats and then sought to bring an injunction to prevent Mr High using the right of way on the grounds that it was void under s.4(6) Land Charges Act 1972 as it was not registered as a land charge.
The injunction was refused on two grounds:
1. Mutual benefit and burden - Ives investment could not take advantage of the benefit of the foundations which trespassed on Mr. High's land without being subject to the burden of the right of way following Hopgood v Brown [1955] 1 WLR 213.
2. Estoppel - An equity arising from the expense incurred in building the garage, with the Wrights' acquiescence in standing by knowing he believed he had a right of way. This equity was binding on Ives Investment as successor in title since they had express actual notice of the right of way and it would be inequitable for them to deny its existence. Inwards v Baker [1965] 2 QB 29 applied.
Back to lecture outline on Land Charges or Proprietary estoppel