An elderlycouple who bought a house in the country to enjoy their twilight years say a wall being built just a foot away from the side of their property “has changed their lives”.
Arthur and Eva Evans, who live at Ashton with Stodday, Lancaster, say the brick wall being built by their neighbour Roger Clark, blocks the light through five windows on the side of their house and means much of the living space is plunged into darkness.
Arthur, 86, a retired teacher, said: “We love the house but we are being forced out. For 12 months we have not been able to wash the windows on the side of the house because we can’t get to them.
“The wall has changed our lives. A fence was up for 12 months and Mr Clark told the planners it was temporary.Now he is building a wall there which is just a foot away from our windows.
“We have both had heart attacks due to the stress of the ongoing disputes.”
Arthur and Eva moved into their property at Ashton Gardens in 2006 and claim that when neighbours Roger and Sarah Clark, whose company Stodday Land Ltd owns most of the estate where the Evans’ home is, moved in, they were asked to make a contribution to the upkeep of the roads and verges.
The couple were expecting to pay £50 but were asked for £400.Arthur said: “That went to litigation and court but was unresolved.”
The couple claim they have had piles of letters from the Clarks, and one letter says they cannot walk west of their house or they will be trespassing. Arthur said: “We have spoken to the authorities, victim support services twice, the council, the fire service and the police and nothing has been done.”
Family friend Lorraine Birch set up a petition in support of the Evans calling on the authorities to take action to protect the couple, which has so far attracted over 3,700 signatures.
Lorraine said: “We need the local authorities to insist building regulations take some responsibility and check the validity of this wall being built, as well as assess the impact on this very elderly couple. “Labour MP Cat Smith is on the case and has arranged a meeting the second week in December to discuss this issue.”
MP Cat Smith said: “As an MP I wouldn’t have a formal role to play in this case. Planning issues are the remit of Lancaster City Council and the police deal with harassment issues. “ A spokesman from Lancaster City Council said: “Following a recent investigation into the erection of a temporary fence at the site, the council’s position on the matter was thoroughly explained to the residents concerned.”
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said there is no on-going involvement from the force. Landowner Roger Clark declined to comment.
Sign the petition here