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Crabb v Arun DC [1976]

Crabb v Arun District Council [1976]


  • The claimant was assured that his local council would build a right of way to his land, such that the land could be partitioned and sold off separately without leaving one part of the land landlocked
  • To confirm their intentions, the council built a fence with a gap for the assured right of way
  • The claimant relied on this assurance to sell of part of his land, leaving his own landlocked
  • The council then filled in the gap, and demanded £3000 for a right of way to be built


  • Could the council be estopped from refusing to build the right of way?


  • Yes


  • Any sum that could reasonably have been demanded for the cost of construction was set-off against the detriment suffered by the claimant; the net cost being £0, with the Council being required to construct the right of way
  • Where a proprietary estoppel claim is established, a court will assess the extent of the equity created and how best to satisfy it
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