Crabb v Arun District Council

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Citation: Crabb v Arun District Council (1976) Ch 197.

This information can be found in the Textbook: Edgeworth et all, Sackville and Neave's Property Law Cases and Materials, 8th edition, Lexis Nexis, 2008, pp. 389-91 [4.128].


Background facts

  • The Plaintiff owned land with access from access point A to a road owned by the Defendants and a right of way from A along the road.
  • To sell his land, the Plaintiff sought from the Defendants another access point (point B) and another right of way along the road. Point B was agreed in a meeting with the Defendant’s representative; the Defendants fenced the land off and created gates at both points A and B.
  • The Plaintiff sold part of his land and his access from point A. The Defendants then fenced off point B, leaving the plaintiff landlocked.


  • The Plaintiff brought an action for a declaration and an injunction, claiming that the Defendants were estopped from by their conduct from denying him a right of access to point B and a right of way along the road.

Legal issues


  • Knowing that the Plaintiff wanted to sell his land, the Defendants, through their representative, led the Plaintiff to believe that they would grant him access to point B.
  • By erecting the gates and failing to correct his belief, the Defendants encouraged the Plaintiff to act to his detriment in selling part of his land without reservation over it, giving rise to an equity in the Plaintiff’s favour.
  • The right of way from point B should thus be granted without payment.
  • The defendants were thus estopped from denying that the plaintiff had a right of way (an easement) from point B.


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