Wheeler v JJ Saunders Ltd [1996] Ch 19

Key point

  • A right must offer more than purely convenience to be implied under the rule in Wheeldon

Facts

  • When C bought a plot of land, there were 2 access routes that went through D’s land but no express grant of either
  • D barred the access route to the south entrance of C’s land
  • C claimed an implied grant of right of way over the barred access route

Held (Court of Appeal)

  • No easement was impliedly granted

Staughton LJ

  • The case of easements implied under the Wheeldon rule is wider than easements of necessity
  • However, access to the south entrance was not necessary for the reasonable enjoyment of C’s land

Peter Gibson LJ, dissenting

  • The requirement of continuous and apparent easement and the requirement that the easement be necessary for reasonable enjoyment of property granted are synonymous
  • I am not able to say that the judge erred in finding that the south entrance amounted to the front entrance and was necessary for reasonable enjoyment of property

Commentary

  • Compare this case to Borman v Griffithwhere the additional access route provided access to heavy vehicles necessary for the dominant owner’s business – it can be inferred that a secondary right of way will not be granted unless there is a practical need for it, not merely greater convenience for the dominant owner