Angry residents hit with £10k bill for passing shopping over a fence to save a 20 minute walk

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Residents are ‘livid’ after they were ordered to pay £10,000 for a new fence - to stop them helping boat users with their shopping.

People living in Albion Mill in Worcester have been banned from passing bags over the existing railings. Apartment managers now plan to erect a 2m (6.5ft) high 35m (114ft) long fence to block off the pontoon after two people complained about boat owners trespassing.

They say the current practice means boat owners access a private car park - which means a 20 minute walk - and some people have been climbing over the metal railings to cut through. But furious residents claim they are being punished for helping boat owners.

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Not very neighbourly

Jon Bodenham, 50, who lives in Albion Mill, said: "[It] is happening without any consultation with residents. I am just absolutely livid that a few complaints can actually enact something like this without consulting a wider body of residents. The boat owners are our friends and neighbours, but this is not very neighbourly."

Before Albion Mill was built, boat owners accessed the pontoon directly from the site but now have a 1km long detour to reach their vessels.

New fence is a fire hazard

Tony Wass, 67, has lived on the marina full-time with his partner Stuart since December 2022. Professional sound engineer Tony said a new fence would be dangerous in the event of an emergency.

He said: “At the moment, the fence means that if anyone on the boats had an emergency an ambulance or fire engine could get pretty close. If this fence goes up we’d be stuffed. If there was a fire here we’d be trapped here. The new route goes over very wide locks which are quite dangerous and you can fall into them in winter. To think we could be trapped here in an emergency is frightening.”

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Just Eat delivery handed over the fence

Boat owner Dave Price, 56, called the proposal ‘ridiculous’. “If I order some groceries or a Just Eat delivery they hand it over the fence. They’re probably two or three people who have moaned about it from 300-400 residents.”

A spokesperson said: "Climbing over the fence as an access point to and from the canal presents a significant safety concern and is likely to cause extensive damage.

"Previously, there has been damage around the fence which has had to be rectified at a cost to the residents of Albion Mill."

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