Sunday, 3 Jul 2022

Woman fuming as builders erect 8ft-high metal fence right in middle of her garden

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Gillian Arnold accused workmen of “bully-boy tactics” after they erected a fence through the middle of her garden on Wednesday morning. She said there was “no quibbling” with the men who were working on the site of a new housing estate off Abbey Road in Shepley, Huddersfield.

Lawyers from Leeds-based developer Camstead Homes argue the land is part of the overall site where they are building the Shepley New Mills housing estate.

Mrs Arnold disputes this and claims she has maintained the land as a mini-allotment for almost 20 years.

The fence has blocked her access to a portion of her garden which includes her greenhouse.

She told YokrshireLive that developers had gone ahead and cut off the area of her land despite the ongoing dispute over its ownership.

Mrs Arnold said: “We have been in dispute [about the land] since last year. They say it’s theirs.

“But it’s not in their plans and they don’t show it being used. They warned me they were going to [put the fence up]. I said they couldn’t because we were in dispute [about the ownership] but they have decided that the land is theirs.

“They said they’d sent a letter to me but I’ve never seen it. They will not even share the said letters with my lawyers, so I can only believe they don’t exist.

“In fact they said they’d sent it to my lawyer, but I didn’t even have a lawyer at the time.

“Then they brought it round. The man who delivered it took a picture of himself posting it through our door. It was dated April.

“My take would be that because the land is disputed, then they should not be on there concreting enormous posts into my gardens.

“My greenhouse is on one side and I am on the other. This is bully-boy tactics, and it’s out of order. I’m considering an injunction.”

Local councillor John Taylor said he was “gobsmacked” when he saw the fence and suggested the dispute should be settled by legal means.

He said: “I am shocked at the way the developer has behaved.

“This is clearly a legal boundary dispute that needs settling through the courts and not by constructing a fence through the middle of somebody’s garden.

“While that goes through the courts I would expect the developer to behave in an appropriate manner given that ultimately this is their neighbour.”

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A spokesperson for Camstead Homes said: “The company has legal ownership of the land in question. It has erected a fence around its property to secure it, pending development.

“It would not be appropriate for us to comment any further in relation to this private matter.”

Kirklees Council approved the contentious plan for the housing estate in May 2020.

The development to build up to 34 homes on the site has been met with criticism as the site is known to flood.

Residents have said the development would push up the flood risk for the local area, potentially pushing run-off water further down the valley.

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