Neighbours Spend £120k In 11-Year Battle For 76cm Strip Of Land

Taking petty to entirely new levels is a warring set of neighbours who have had to rinse their life savings on a 76cm strip of land.

Great-grandparents Annette and Raymond Timmins have been embroiled in an 11-year conflict with Alan Soden, 85, over a gate at the back of the latter's house which opens on to the couple's parking space.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Instead of settling the damn thing with some passive aggressive emails or an over-the-fence argument, Soden threatened to take the couple to court when his tenants said they were blocking his gate with their car.

So what did the Timmins do? They built a fence that blocked his gate. Which of course led Soden to take it to court.

The homeowner won the case and was awarded a 76cm-wide right of way through their space. But this didn't mean the ordeal was over - far from it. The court fees cost Soden a whopping £76,000, and the Timmins, aged 74 and 73, have been ordered to pay £27,000 towards his costs, as well as their own £45,000 legal bill.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

The pair have had to dip into what's left of their pension and savings and now Anette, whose husband is disabled, has said the whole thing has bled them dry.

She said: "I've spent almost everything I have. It cost me everything. We're now in depression.

"We just can't believe this has happened. I have been parking on my land.

"But now I can be sued for parking on that 76cm space. He claimed he had a right of way and he won.

"If I could afford to challenge the decision then I would, but we've been left with nothing."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Both sides apparently started battling the access space in around 2007, but it was in 2015 when things really deteriorated, as one of Soden's tenants left a note that read: "Please don't block our gate. I don't want to scratch your car with my bike."

Annette tried to argue that the land is their property, but it just got worse. She now argues that she wishes she'd never spent the money in the hope that they'd win.

She added: "We've been left with absolutely nothing now. I regret it all because I've lost everything."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

Although Soden is glad he's won, he admitted that it was not a glorious victory, stating: "I knew I was in the right, that is why I would not give up.

"But yes, I admit there is no real sense of victory and the only people who have really won out of all this are the expensive lawyers.

"The money it has cost us is ridiculous when you look at what we were fighting over."

Well that's at least three people's lives seriously damaged thanks to a 76cm plot of land. The moral of the story is never call war on your neighbour. It'll only end in tears.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Daisy Phillipson

Daisy is a UK-based freelance journalist with too many opinions. She loves everything film and music-related and has a track record writing for Little White Lies, BWRC, and Film Daily. Contact her at [email protected]

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013