Couple lose bid to tear down fence of millionaire neighbours outside front door

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A couple face a £160,000 legal bill after losing a High Court battle to force “monstrous” millionaire neighbours to tear down a
6ft fence blocking their country home. Gary and Kerry Hambling bought four-bedroom Garden Cottage in 2015 – which lies across a drive owned by Garry and Jenny Wakerly.

But the Wakerlys, whose £1million house Tills Farm Cottage is on the same plot as the Hamblings’ home, put up the fence in 2017.

Mr Hambling, 48, and his wife, 44, who own a utilities installation company, said it blocked access to their field and wiped £100,000 off the value of their £600,000 home.

Asking a judge to force them to reopen the front door access, the Hamblings called the action monstrous and “deliberately and unpleasantly antagonistic”.

But Sir Anthony Mann has ruled the Hamblings have no right to get to their field from the cottage and the fence can stay – leaving them with legal costs of at least £160,000.

A trial last month heard friction between the couples grew after the Hamblings wanted to turn part of their field into a “car park” for vans and trucks.

The Wakerlys then put up the fence down one side of the Hamblings’ front garden, effectively boxing them in.

A legal row centred on the wording of the right of way, granted to the then owners of the property, near Polstead, Suffolk, in 2001.

It stated the Wakerlys’ driveway could be used “for access to the field, not to Garden Cottage”.

In 2021, a judge at Norwich County Court ruled in favour of the Wakerlys but the Hamblings challenged that in a High Court appeal. However, Sir Anthony ruled: “I agree with the judge that the natural meaning of the words is as she said.”