Family in dispute over wall repair
AFAMILY in Barry are fighting a bill of up to £90,000 over repairs to a wall they say they don’t own.
The wall, which backs onto the gardens of nine properties in Bastian Close, is beginning to fall apart and the Vale of Glamorgan Council says it is up to residents in the street to repair it.
Lloyd and Aisha Bailey, who live in Bastian Close with two-year-old son Ripley, are disputing this – and have commissioned a boundary report which states the wall isn’t their legal responsibility.
But another expert, commissioned by Vale of Glamorgan Council, said the family are the legal owners of the retaining wall.
The report commissioned by the Bailey family, by David Gregson Ltd, said residents in Bastian Close had “no legal interest in the wall and, consequently, no responsibility for its maintenance and repair,” and the structure was owned by nearby Kez House.
Works to repair the 130-year-old wall could cost up to £90,000, the report found. But the council-commissioned report, by Ball & Co, said the Baileys are legally responsible for the wall – and the council says owners of other properties have carried out repairs.
Mr Bailey, who along with his family have lived in Bastian Close since April 2014, said: “We have just had enough of it all now. It’s destroying our lives.
“It has put a blight on my property - I can’t sell my home. We wouldn’t be able to sell the house as it is.”
In 2008 the council issued a building enforcement notice under the Building Act 1984 to the owners of Kez House and nearby Glebe House to repair the wall. It is understood there have been five building enforcement orders served to Kez House in the last 10 years but no works have been done and no one has been taken to court.
But the council’s Ball & Co report concluded in 2014 the properties in Bastian Close were legally responsible for the wall. The report was re-examined in 2017, after Mr Bailey provided the council with his evidence that he did not own the wall, but the result was the same.
Mr Bailey said the Vale council has written to him giving him 28 days under the act to carry out the works, but has not yet received an official notice. He said the Ball & Co report is only in draft – so it is not legally binding – and does not contain evidence of their land registry. Mr Bailey has called on the council to sort out the future of the wall once and for all.
A spokesman for Michael Isaac, owner of Kez House, said: “Mr Bailey has failed to comply with his responsibilities with the result that both Mr Isaac’s property and the neighbouring property have sustained structural damage. I have been asked to point out that some of Mr Bailey’s neighbours have carried out repairs to their parts of the retaining wall.”
Mr Bailey said these neighbours are “not direct neighbours” and are affected by a different retaining structure to his property. He said these neighbours have on average paid up to £200 for repointing works.
A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: “As the structure continues to deteriorate and no action has been taken to repair an element of the wall to the rear of two properties, despite owners of other properties in Bastian Close having undertaken repairs, the council has been left with no alternative other than to consider taking action under the Building Act and is now preparing its case to seek a court order compelling the wall’s legal owners to take action.”
> Aisha, Ripley and Lloyd Bailey fear they may be made to pay up to £90,000 to repair a dangerous wall which they say they don’t own