UK neighbours are preparing for a bizarre legal battle - over a trellis fence

·3-min read

A group of neighbours are preparing for a bizarre legal battle after one resident blocked a walkway with a trellis fence.

The waist-high fence now blocks a walkway across the front of 14 privately owned Victorian houses and their gardens.

The path that runs between the front of the homes on Common Road, Evesham, Worcestershire, now has a fence placed between houses seven and eight to stop other residents using the walkway.

A sign was also placed on the fencing that read, "Private 14-8", but that has now been removed.

Residents from the row of houses are now starting legal action after the only other access that does not include steps for numbers eight to 14 was blocked.

Now 10 of the neighbours from Common Road have joined together to begin legal action.

One resident Joanne Kitchen explained how they have all tried to liaise with Julia Hartley who is alleged to be behind the fence but have now instructed a solicitor after getting no response.

Joanne said: "For us to go out now we have to go up steps. If someone in a wheelchair or even the emergency services needed access they could not get through.

"For the people who live here, it is the quickest route towards town and we now have to go all the way around. It is a right of way on all our deeds.

"It is all getting a bit contentious and it has made things really horrible.

"I have only lived here for four years, some of the people have been here for 20, 30 years.

"The houses are 150 years old, they are the old gasworks cottages so that right of way has been there for just as long.

"She (Mrs Hartley) tells us she has been here for 30 years so why this is suddenly a problem now I'm not sure.

"We think just does not want people walking past her home but she doesn't have a choice.

"Because of how close the homes are, we all know each other and during lockdown, everyone helped everyone, we would play a bit of music and have some socially-distant dancing in the mornings.

"There is one elderly neighbour who does not come out to join us so much now, she can't get through and doesn't like the idea of walking all the way around."

Fellow resident Holly Edwards added: "I've lived here for more than 30 years and this path is a feature of this road, not an inconvenience.

"During lockdown, my friend at number five, on the opposite side of this fence, was a real lifesaver so this makes it a bit

more personal for me."

Another neighbour Hannah Owen said: "It feels like bullying, my little girls keep saying they just want things to get back to normal. We find it very sad."

West Mercia Police said: "At around 8pm on June 25 we were called to reports of a neighbour dispute over access at Common Road, Evesham.

"This is a civil matter however, our Safer Neighbourhood Team is engaging with all parties."

Mrs Hartley declined to comment.

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