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11-year row over parking space

11-year row over parking space


Pensioners’ 11-year row over parking space costs them more than £120,000

A long-running dispute over some tarmac measuring less than a metre wide has seen warring neighbours out of pocket by more than £120,000.

Alan Soden, 85, had been locked in an 11-year row with Annette and Raymond Timmins, 73 and 74 respectively, over the land at the back of his property, which is on a private estate in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

A gate in the back garden of Soden’s property, which he rents out, opens on to a tarmac stretch that the Timminses claimed was part of their parking area in a row of spaces round the corner from their house.

After tenants at Soden’s property complained that the couple were blocking the gate with their car, Soden threatened to take the Timminses to the High Court.

The money it has cost us is ridiculous when you look at what we were fighting over.

In response, they put up a fence to block the gate, and as a result Soden took the couple to court. He claimed he had right of way over the piece of tarmac, having owned the property for 20 years before the Timminses moved into the neighbouring bungalow in 2004.

Tribunal judge William Hansen found in favour of Soden, who was awarded a 76cm-wide section of the space – with the Timminses also ordered to remove the fence.

The argument cost Soden, who lives in Cookham, £76,000 in legal fees, with the Timminses required to pay £27,000 of his costs on top of their own £45,000 fee.

Speaking afterwards to the Mail on Sunday, Soden said: “I knew I was in the right. That is why I would not give up. But yes, I admit there is no real sense of victory and the only people who have really won out of all this are the expensive lawyers.

“The money it has cost us is ridiculous when you look at what we were fighting over.”