Woman, 90, comes home to find neighbour has erected scaffolding in her garden

Gill Hayes-Newington, who is objecting to the scaffolding
Gill Hayes-Newington, who is objecting to the scaffolding - BRUNO BROWN/NEWSQUEST, SWNS

A row has broken out between two elderly neighbours after one put up scaffolding in the other’s garden.

Gill Hayes-Newington, 90, has threatened legal action after she came home to find scaffolding crowding her flowerbeds and overlooking the bedroom window of her Grade II-listed cottage in Halesworth, Suffolk.

The structure had been erected by builders employed by her neighbour Dr Andrew Jones, 65, so that repairs could be made to the roof of his own Grade-II listed home.

Ms Hayes-Newington, a retired social worker, is adamant she knew nothing about the scaffolding until it went up, describing her neighbour’s actions as “egotistical” and “discourteous”.

She added: “He has violated and invaded my privacy – the scaffold blocks my bedroom window and they can peer right in. How would you react if you came home to find your neighbour’s scaffolding in your back garden?

“It is egotistical for them to assume this is OK and to assume that I didn’t have plans, such as a garden party with my friends.”

Dr Jones said his roof can only be safely accessed by scaffolding, which is mostly in his garden but also has some struts placed on Mrs Hayes-Newington’s side of their shared garden wall.

Dr Andrew Jones in his garden
Dr Andrew Jones in his garden - BRUNO BROWN/NEWSQUEST/SWNS

The retired town councillor added that he actually owns the thin strip of land on Mrs Hayes-Newington’s side, on which the scaffolding rests, and insisted that he warned her about the work in advance.

The pair have been neighbours on Rectory Street, a cul-de-sac in the market town, for more than a decade.

Dr Jones said: “My partner and I of course conferred with Gill about the essential maintenance to my roof.

“It is a little complicated because my home extends to her side of the wall so technically the scaffold, though her side of the wall, is in line with my house.

“I am very sorry that Gill is distressed by the work to my roof and the scaffold in her garden, but as she knows, the work is essential in order to maintain the Grade II-listed property.

“Furthermore she even knows the builders who are doing the work as they have done jobs to her home too.

“If she is taking legal action, I don’t think it will go far.”