A homeowner in a long-running parking row with a neighbour returned home from work to find his driveway blocked – by CONCRETE BOLLARDS.
Nigel Serrell, 58, had been leaving his car on unclaimed land at the rear of his home for about 16 years until a new resident moved in nearby earlier this year.
He says the new occupant Nazreen Akhtar, 43, found out she owned the piece of land and told him he could not park there anymore.
When he disputed the claim, Nigel says his neighbour became confrontational and his car was later vandalised outside his home in Rowley Regis, West Mids.
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The sales and marketing worker then spent £5,000 knocking through his rear garden to create a secure, fenced-in driveway in a hope of resolving the dispute.
But he was left gobsmacked when he found a scrap car had been placed to block off access to his drive and 4ft concrete bollards were then installed while he was at work.
Nigel has now been left unable to get his car back on his driveway outside his property on Halesowen Street.
Incredibly, he discovered Midland Heart Housing Association paid for the barriers and despite getting the backing of his council and local MP – they have refused to move them.
“The land was part of a development about 20 years ago, but the building company went bust.,” said Nigel.
“The land was left unclaimed and I have parked my car there since 1998, when I moved in.
“There is a woman three doors down who has been here since 2007, but about 18 months ago someone told her incorrectly that her house had a claim to the land.
“When she heard that she ordered me to stop parking on the land.
“After I refused, I found my windscreen scratched with keys and I was threatened by her partner.
“My solicitor said I had a right to park there by the laws of adverse possession because I had parked there for so many years.
“But she got Midland Heart Housing Association to put up no parking signs.
“It got so bad that I called the police, who advised me to build my own secure drive in my back garden, so that my car was secure and I was only using the disputed land for access.
“I spent £5,000 clearing out my lawn, putting down paving slabs and putting in a gate.
“But as I was installing the gate my neighbour said: ‘That will be a waste of money because we’ll knock it straight down.’
“When it went up in January they bought a scrap car and parked it in front of my drive, so I couldn’t get in or out.
“My councillor complained to Midland Heart, but they said they backed their resident.
“The car stayed there for six months until July 31 when I went to work and came home to find two concrete bollards installed right in front of my drive.
“I checked my CCTV and you can actually see my neighbour rolling the car forward and getting the builders to install the concrete bollards.
“Midland Heart paid for the bollards for my neighbour and they are refusing to move them.
“People who come and visit me can’t believe what they are seeing and keep on telling me to rip them up but I am trying to do things the right way, going through the right channels but it is getting me nowhere.
“It meant nobody came to visit me over Christmas.”
Tory MP James Morris, who is helping Nigel to fight the bollards, said: “Whenever a local constituent contacts me, I try to do all I can to help resolve any issues that they may have.
“This issue has been particularly difficult, and I ask that Midland Heart carefully consider Mr Serrell’s concerns and come to a reasonable conclusion for all those involved.”
Nigel Collumbell, director of housing management at Midland Heart, said: “We have been working locally with our customers for some time to understand the issues around parking and to find a fair solution to parking arrangements in the area.”