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I'm in this situation. Builders coming to my street (small cul-de-sac) to move bulky building materials to a property that is located on neighbouring street and its garden backs onto my street. They destroyed some vegetation on my street to create a pathway and opened up part of a fence. There are builders' vehicles coming to my street. Can I legally stop them from doing that? I also have been sworn at when I was taking pictures of their vehicle and company logo.

  • What do you mean with your street? Are they only using public roads and areas, or are they using and destroying your property, for example your driveway? – amon Sep 16 at 17:54
  • "My street" means here "the street I live at and where I expect to feel undisturbed without an important reason". They are using (and damaging) public land, not my driveway. – Stanley Jones Sep 16 at 21:06
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    Who owns the fence? – Andy Sep 16 at 21:55
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    I'd say "having no other reasonable access" is a pretty important reason for using a public road this way. You have no evidence that they weren't allowed to break the fence or that they aren't going to repair the vegetation (by which you should mean more than a bit of grass). – Nij Sep 17 at 4:34
  • Andy: The fence is ancient iron spiky railings, I don't know who put it there. Maybe it was there before the area was built-up. Nij: They have reasonable way of access through the other road, it's just easier for them to use the street where we are living. They have cut down a tree and a number of self-set sycamore saplings thus creating a gaping hole in what used to be a nice green screen of plants and left a half ton of builders sand on the ground. Children used to have a den right there.Generally they behave like a invading army, having no regard for the proper residents. – Stanley Jones Sep 17 at 21:01
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Summary: More information needed, but I have listed out some legal claims available to homeowners when they have similar concerns.

There are several issues here which need elaboration before deciding if you can take legal action.

The first is: "the destroyed some vegetation on my street."

If the by "my street" you mean that the street is part of your property, you may sue the builders for trespass and/or damage to property.

If the street isn't your property, but the vegetation is your property, you may sue them for destruction of your property.

What you are probably looking for, however, is a prohibitive injunction. This is a court order forcing the builders to avoid doing something, e.g. An order forcing them to avoid using roads adjacent to your property.

To obtain such an injunction you will have to prove that what they are doing is violating your rights, is somehow harmful to you or your property, or inevitably will do either of those things. One way to demonstrate this is if you can show that you have a claim under nuisance, or damage to property, or trespass.

On the description you have given us, there isn't enough to say your rights are being violated, or that your property has come to harm or will come to harm because of their actions.

You should also be aware of claims under nuisance. Nuisance is when someone is doing something that prevents you from "peaceful enjoyment of your land".

It appears from your question that the actions of these builders have, in your mind, done this. However there are several aspects that have to be satisfied for this to amount to private nuisance:

What the builder are doing must be a "continuing state of affairs." They may have annoyed you by trampling over vegetation, but if this is a "one-off" event, it is unlikely to amount to nuisance.

A reasonable person must find the conduct to interfere with the enjoyment of their land. That is to say: it isn't enough that their conduct is making you unable to enjoy your land peacefully, you have to show that any reasonable person in the same situation would find this conduct unacceptable.

Finally, the context of your neighbourhood matters: if the behaviour is something expected in a residential area, then it will not amount to a nuisance. For example, heavy drilling in an industrial location will not amount to a nuisance, while the same may do so in a normally quiet neighbourhood.

  • I suspect that the prohibitive injunction requires not just inevitable damage, but additionally a lack of reasonable alternatives. Part of that relates to the "any reasonable person would find it unacceptable", though. – MSalters Sep 17 at 20:37

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