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Furious homeowners told they will lose 6.5ft of their front gardens and driveways

Furious homeowners on a new housing estate have been told they will lose more than six feet of their front gardens and driveways this week to make way for pavements.

Snape Properties Limited, developers of the Maples estate in Holton-le-Clay, Lincolnshire, are readying the road for the county council to adopt and maintain.

But a pathway, which wasn’t in place when most people moved in up to two years ago, still needs to be installed.

This has sparked fury among those living on the estate as it means their front lawns and parking spaces, which currently go right up to the kerb, will be substantially reduced.  

Robert Stafford, 62, who co-owns his property with Lincolnshire Housing Partnership, said: ‘None of us knew about this. 

‘LHP are saying this was in the plans the entire time, but when I was sold the house we were sold it as a two car driveway and a large front garden.

‘The plans that we were shown were also very unclear, it looked like a photocopy of a photocopy, and there was no distinct area between our house and the road.

‘We are all angry because we weren’t told about this when we bought the house. If it was already in place or we were informed from the start that paths would be installed, then fair enough, but we feel like we were mis-sold the house.

‘There was little to no notice about the gardens being torn up, either. We received a letter a few months back saying the roads were going to be made ready for the council to adopt them, but they didn’t say anything about the paths being installed.’

This has had a big impact on the people that live there, who have seen their front gardens dug up while they have been out at work.

Mr Stafford added: ‘A nurse that lives several doors down was almost in tears because she came back from work and found her front garden a mess because they had dug it up. It’s upset a lot of people here.

‘My partner stopped them from digging up the land the other day, but it has been marked and we are losing about half of our front garden.

‘Some people own part of their house with LHP, while others own theirs outright, and those that own their house outright are really upset.

‘I’ve lived here for 18 months and we are only just finding out about it now.

‘We got an email from LHP saying it’s the builders’ fault for putting down grass right to the road, but they should have told us that we were going to lose that land because of the path either way.

‘Some have it worse than others, some houses have lost most of their front garden, while others have lost grass down the side of the house, which doesn’t make as big a difference.

‘But it’s been handled really badly. Many of us are incredibly upset at how this has been handled.’

In the email sent to Robert, LHP explained ‘Typically, this area would be edged and hardcored to clearly distinguish it from your front garden area, however it looks as though the builder has continued to turf up to the edge of the road and this has caused the confusion.

‘With the legal conveyance documentation being correct and neither LHP or yourselves highlighting the difference on the ground through purchase process I appreciate you are now in the position where you feel you have purchased less than you originally thought.’

A representative for Snape Properties Limited said: ‘At the end of the day, it’s not their land. Two metres of land alongside newly built roads are part of the land given to the Highways agency when they adopt it.

‘It’s part of Section 38 of the Highways Act, which means that the land was never theirs to begin with.

‘Their solicitor should have explained to them that this was the case, and any plans for their home would not show their land stretching out to the road, there would be a space between their land and the road. 

‘The land is currently being developed to be adopted by the council, which is why the pavement is being worked on now.’

Lincolnshire Housing Partnership has been approached for comment.

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