Cotswolds neigh­bours in 3-year le­gal fight over tiny ter­race out­side cot­tage

Daily Mail - - News - By Izzy Fer­ris and Paul Thomp­son

WHEN An­drew and Skip­per Roland bought a 150-year- old Cotswolds cot­tage, they might have ex­pected some ru­ral tran­quil­lity.

In­stead, they say, they have be­come em­broiled in a costly three-year row with a neigh­bour – over a tiny pa­tio.

The cou­ple paid £300,000 for the prop­erty in the mar­ket town of Chip­ping Cam­p­den, Glouces­ter­shire, in 2016. At the time they be­lieved a 7ft by 12ft paved area at the front of the cot­tage be­longed to them.

But three years and £8,000 later, the cou­ple are be­ing taken to court by their neigh­bour who claims the small patch of land is his.

Tory coun­cil­lor Mark An­nett – an es­tate agent who had han­dled the sale of the prop­erty – has placed a ta­ble and chairs on the area and has re­fused to move them.

The row be­gan shortly af­ter Mr and Mrs Roland brought the four-bed­room prop­erty as a hol­i­day let. Mr An­nett, 66, a for­mer leader of Cotswold District Coun­cil, owns Mark An­nett & Company es­tate agents next door as well as a hol­i­day flat above his busi­ness.

Af­ter Mr An­nett put gar­den fur­ni­ture and pot plants on the pa­tio, the cou­ple claim, they asked him to re­move them but he re­fused, telling them he owned the paved area.

Mr Roland, 53, said: ‘ Shortly af­ter buy­ing the place we no­ticed a man wa­ter­ing the plants and he told us they be­longed to Mr An­nett.

‘When we asked Mr An­nett to re­move them he re­fused. He fur­ther an­gered us by putting a gar­den ta­ble and chairs in the mid­dle of the pa­tio.’

The Rolands say Land Reg­istry doc­u­ments prove they own two thirds of the pa­tio and Mr An­nett owns a 2.5ft by 4ft sec­tion to the left. But Mrs Roland, 43, said Mr An­nett made no men­tion of own­ing the pa­tio when he sold them the house.

‘One of the ground floor bed­room windows is di­rectly over the pa­tio so any­one look­ing at it will of course as­sume that the area out­side is on their side of the boundary,’ she said.

‘All any­one has to do is ap­ply com­mon sense and it is ob­vi­ous that the area out­side our win­dow is part of our prop­erty.’

The cou­ple say at­tempts at reach­ing an am­i­ca­ble agree-him ment with Mr An­nett, whose of­fice win­dow over­looks the dis­puted pa­tio area, have failed.

The coun­cil­lor uses the pa­tio as out­side space for the pay­ing guests in his hol­i­day flat and has in­stalled the metal ta­ble and chairs for their use.

Mr An­nett, who lives in a £1mil­lion home in the town and drives a Jaguar with a per­son­alised plate, in­sists his boundary ex­tends to a low stone wall on the right of the dis­puted area, giv­ing rights to the whole pa­tio. . But the Rolands say deeds at the Land Reg­istry show he is en­ti­tled only to the 2.5ft by 4ft t sec­tion next to his prop­erty. Mr An­nett, how­ever, says the doc­u­ments were drawn up in­cor­rectly and also claimed the pre­vi­ous owner of his prop­erty y had been granted the right to o the pa­tio. Mr and Mrs Roland d claim the pre­vi­ous owner of f their cot­tage told them she had d al­ways maintained own­er­ship.

They also say over the past t two years let­ters from their neigh­bour’s so­lic­i­tors be­came in­creas­ingly threat­en­ing.

Mrs Roland, a for­mer ac­coun­tant, said: ‘It is just in­sane that it has come to this over a small l pa­tio area. But this is a mat­ter r of prin­ci­ple and we will not be e bul­lied into giv­ing it up.

‘With all the ev­i­dence on our r side we thought the mat­ter r would be dropped but Mr An­nett t is now tak­ing us to court.’ Mr An­nett de­clined to o com­ment yes­ter­day.

‘It’s in­sane it has come to this’

Court bat­tle: Mr and Mrs Roland

Pic­turesque: Chip­ping Cam­p­den is pop­u­lar with sight­seers

Mark An­nett: Says pa­tio is his

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