The dispute between Darren Aston and Emma Durdenfrom Solihull lasted four years and was based on 45-year-old planning documents. The disagreement was over the boundarythat separated the properties and was represented on the plan by a 1.2mm thick red line.

Mr Aston wanted to extend it away from his property by 2½ feet, which would have eaten into Ms Durden’s garden. She objected and the case went all the way to the Court of Appeal.

By that time, the two sides had spent more than £135,000.In the end, however, the Appeal Court judges ruled that the fence should remain where it was.

Giving the lead judgement, Lord Justice Pill, said: “This has been the most absurd piece of litigation we have seen for a very long time.
Whoever wins, the parties are going to go away to their respective
houses and
each is content that the fence stays where it is.”

The case highlights the importance of retaining a sense of perspective when disputes with neighbours arise.

It is better to settle issues amicably. If this is not possible, then it often helps to seek professional help to clarify the legal situation. Once both sides know where they stand, they can usually reach an agreement.

If not, a solicitor can arrange mediation to help find a solution that is acceptable to both sides. If that doesn’t work then it may be necessary to take court action, but it should nearly always be a last resort.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.

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