Fam­ily in dis­pute over wall re­pair

Western Mail - - NEWS - MATT DISCOMBE Lo­cal democ­racy re­porter matt.discombe@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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