R Square Properties Ltd v Nissan Motors (GB) Limited: a right to park may constitute an easement

An exclusive right to use parking spaces can constitute an easement, when the grantor of the right has not been completely deprived of their use of the land.  This was the decision in R Square Properties Ltd v Nissan Motors (GB) Limited (13 March 2014; unreported), which was distinguished from the decision in Batchelor v Marlow [2001] EWCA Civ 1051 on its facts.

The claimant, R Square Properties Ltd, owned the freehold reversion of an industrial estate.  The defendant, Nissan Motors (GB) Limited, had the exclusive right to use 80 parking spaces on its land, pursuant to a lease.  R Square retained reasonable use of the land and the judge at first instance consequently concluded that Nissan’s right to park constituted an easement.  This differed from the 2001 decision in Batchelor v Marlow, where it was held that there was no easement because the land owner was unable to use the land for parking, so his ownership of the land was illusory.

R Square appealed against the decision, arguing that it had no reasonable use of the land for parking and so Nissan’s right should not constitute an easement.  The appeal was dismissed.  It was held that, unlike in Batchelor v Marlow, R Square had not lost reasonable use of the land by virtue of Nissan’s exclusive right to park, since it retained reasonable use of the land for other purposes.

This case provides a useful warning to land owners granting rights to park on their land.  If a land owner retains reasonable use of the land for any purpose, even if they cannot use the land for parking by virtue of the grantee’s exclusive right to park, the right may constitute a legal easement.


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