Chesterfield neighbours’ dispute over a garden fence

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A bitter neighbours’ dispute which ended in court has led to a North Derbyshire woman having to dismantle her summer house and move her garden fence.

Alison Bolsover moved into her home on Newbridge Lane, Chesterfield in 1990 removed the garden fence and replaced it with a new one 13 years later.

But the position of the new fence created a ‘spat’ years later between Ms Bolsover and the owners of the neighbouring land, property developers Bruce and Irene Melville.

The couple protested to a judge in 2012 that the new fence had not been put back in the same place as before.

They said Ms Bolsover had changed the shape of her garden from a ‘wedge shape’ to an ‘oblong’, effectively doubling its size.

Ms Bolsover agreed that there was a ‘small amount of encroachment’ on her neighbours’ property, but hotly disputed their claims that she had grabbed a 20 foot by 90 foot wedge-shaped slice.

Mr and Mrs Melville were, however, handed victory by Judge Hefin Rees QC who found that all the disputed land belonged to them.

He also rejected Ms Bolsover’s claim that the fought-over plot had been part of her garden for so long that she had squatters’ rights over it.

Judge Rees ordered Ms Bolsover to remove her summer house and other possessions from the disputed land.

Her barrister, William Hanbury, fought to overturn the decision at London’s Appeal Court.

Mr Hanbury told Lord Justice Longmore that fresh photographic and written evidence has come to light from the previous owner of her home, arguably showing that her garden was originally an oblong shape.

But Lord Justice Longmore said Judge Rees’ original decision was based on the lines shown on land registry documents and physical evidence at the site.

He said: “It does not seem to me that, even taking into account the new evidence, this is an appropriate case in which to grant permission to appeal.”