Couple face £160,000 after losing legal battle to ‘monstrous’ millionaire neighbours
A couple have lost a £160,000 court bid to force their “monstrous” millionaire neighbors to tear down a two-metre-tall fence standing at their dream country home and prevent them from using their front door.
Gary and Kerry Hambling thought they had found the perfect rural idyll when they bought Garden Cottage near Polstead, Suffolk in 2015.
The four bedroom chocolate home with a 1/2 acre garden has its own block of stables and a two acre field just yards away across a driveway owned by neighbors Garry and Jenny Wakerly.
But a row resulted in the Wakerlys erecting a six-foot fence on either side of their driveway, preventing the Hamblings from entering the field from their driveway.
The Wakerlys – whose £1million home, Tills Farm Cottage, is on the same former farm as the Hamblings’ – blocked the steps the Hamblings had built from their front door to the racetrack, preventing them from getting their property into it direction to leave.
The Hamblings, who live in Garden Cottage (highlighted in yellow, left), claim their multimillionaire neighbors the Wakerlys, who live in Tills Farm Cottage (highlighted in red, right) erected a 6ft high fence preventing them from using her front door to gain access to the Hamblings. Field (marked in yellow, right)
The Wakerleys claim they built the fence to prevent their neighbors from crossing their driveway (pictured) to get onto the field (right) owned by the Hamblings
The Hamblings say the fence has reduced the value of their £600,000 home by £100,000, blocked access from their stables to the field, cut off the view across the field they previously enjoyed from their living room and all that has darkened the first floor of her house.
They went on to sue their neighbours, asking a High Court judge to force them to reopen access to the “front door” and calling their actions “monstrous” and “willful and uncomfortably antagonistic”.
The litigation revolved around whether an inherited right of way meant the fence illegally blocked the Hamblings’ access to their field.
But Judge Sir Anthony Mann has now ruled that the Hamblings have no right to access their field from the cottage and has ruled the fence can remain standing, leaving them saddled with a court bill of at least £160,000.
While hearing the case, the judge heard that the “unfortunate” neighbors’ dispute began in 2016, about a year after the Hamblings moved into Garden Cottage.
The Wakerlys were upset and ‘friction’ grew over the plans the Hamblings had to make changes to their rural estate, particularly when they part of their field – used by the previous owners of Garden Cottage for exercise horses – into a “parking lot” for “vans and trucks”.
They responded by telling Mr Hambling, 48, and Ms Hambling, 44, that they were no longer allowed to cross the driveway – which lies between the Hamblings’ front door and their field – to access the field from their home to get.
Speaking to MailOnline earlier, Mr Hambling said the Wakerlys are “neighbors from hell”.
He continued: “When the fence was first put up, the kids (who are now 16, 18 and 20 years old) were young and had to walk the 60 mile street. The house is not for sale with the current situation.’
A couple are at war with their ‘monstrous’ millionaire neighbours, who they claim are locked in their £600,000 dream home with a six-foot fence allegedly preventing them from using their front door
Gary and Kerry Hambling (pictured outside London’s High Court) claim neighbors Garry and Jenny Wakerly’s fence wiped £100,000 off the value of their Suffolk home
The Hamblings say it’s dangerous to walk between the two properties along the 60-mile street
This is now the view from the Hamblings’ front window, as they say the fence has darkened their ground floor
“We are the fourth family to own this home in 20 years and we should have taken that as a red flag but we didn’t. There’s a reason so many people sold.
“We used the drive just like any other family does.”
The Hamblings – who own a utility installation company – had inherited a right of way to access their field via their neighbors’ lane from the main A1071 Hadleigh Road when they bought the property, the court heard.
They were forbidden to use the same route to get to the cabin, but they had allowed their neighbors to cross the tracks while relations were still friendly.
But in June 2017, after a chilly exchange of letters from attorneys, in which the Hamblings were accused by their neighbors of “trespassing” on the driveway, the Wakerlys had a 6-foot-tall wooden fence, boarded with concrete posts and gravel boards, erected at the edge of their driveway and on one side of her neighbors’ front yard.
The fence effectively locked them in, requiring them to access their field through the driveway on the other side of their property and then along the 60-mile main road.
The dispute centered on the wording of the right of way granted to the then-owners of the property in 2001, which stated that the Wakerlys’ driveway could be used “for access to the field, not the Garden Cottage”.
The case first reached court in 2021, when Norwich County Court Judge Karen Walden-Smith ruled in favor of the Wakerlys, allowing the fence separating Garden Cottage from the track and field to remain in place.
At her September 2021 verdict, she described the dispute as an “extremely unfortunate case in which owners of two country estates could not find a way for them to coexist smoothly”.
When she found the Wakerlys she said they had the right to erect the fence as the right of way up the track was for use of the field only, while Garden Cottage had its own entrance on the other side of the property.
“The express right of way in this matter is clear,” she said. “Not only is it for the good of the field, but it is expressly stated that it is not for the good of Garden Cottage.”
But Dermot Woolgar, who challenged that finding in the High Court last month, said for Mr and Mrs Hambling the District Court judge misinterpreted the wording of the right-of-way.
He argued that the Hamblings had the right to use the front door of their cabin from the track if they had first driven up to their field from the road or were going to the cabin for reasons related to field activities.
But Charles Irvine, for the Wakerlys, asked the judge to drop their neighbors’ case and leave the fence as it is.
‘The wording of the transfer is clear that the track should only be used ‘for access to the field, not the Garden Cottage’ ie for access to and from the field and not to and from the cottage.
“Unlike the case of Mr and Mrs Hamblings, its meaning is as simple as the judge found,” he said.
Pictured: This before and after picture shows the view from the front door of the property before and after the fence was put in place
Pictured: Garry Wakerly (far right) and his wife Jenny (left) inspect the property before the fence is erected
Sir Anthony Mann ruled in favor of the Wakerlys, saying: “The grantor of the (right-of-way) did not want the route to be blocked by domestic and delivery vehicles as the reason it was designed to preclude the possibility of the right of way being the.” used at all for access to the cottage.
“I agree with the judge that the natural meaning of the words is as she said it.
“The words forbidding access not only qualify the right otherwise accorded to the lodge, they also qualify the rights accorded to the field.
“The clear language of the broadcast argues against the Hamblings’ case,” he said, noting “attempts by the Hamblings to impose a very unnatural construction on the grant’s words.”
“I therefore find that the express terms of the granting of the (right of way) actually prohibit the use of the track as a means of access between the hut and the field,” he continued.
“The words of the ban mean what they say and it is not possible to force any other interpretation on them.
“Garden Cottage was not purchased after the purchase of the field and was not purchased for the purpose of using the field.
“Both the field and the hut have their own independent purpose.
“The grant actually prohibits access to and from the cottage and that must mean wherever you are from. In these circumstances, there is no room to argue for “inferior” use.
“It follows that this complaint is dismissed,” the judge concluded.
The Hamblings previously revealed the original trial at District Court had cost them £100,000 and an appeal a further £60,000.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/couple-face-160000-bill-after-losing-legal-battle-against-monstrous-millionaire-neighbours/ Couple face £160,000 after losing legal battle to ‘monstrous’ millionaire neighbours