A newlywed couple who returned from their dream honeymoon to find a 6ft fence around their home is celebrating after it was torn down.
Thomas Entwistle, 27, and his wife Rebekah, 24, described the enormous wooden structure as ‘like the Berlin Wall’ and said it made them ‘feel like prisoners in their own home’, after it has spoiled the view from their house in Blackburn, Lancashire.
Music teacher Thomas was dumbfounded to discover the wooden barrier standing just 2ft from their front door and living room windows after they came back from the Dominican Republic earlier this month.
It is believed the eyesore was erected by a nearby farmer who is in a long-running legal dispute with the developer who built the home.
But less than 72 hours after the fence had been constructed – it was pulled down by teams from developer Permission Homes.
Before and after: The fence at the front of the Entwistle’s house in Blackburn, Lancashire which was built by property developer giants Persimmon and described as ‘like the Berlin Wall’
The wall is pictured on the ground in Blackburn after developers stepped in to remove it
The couple moved into the £220,000 four-bedroom home just before Christmas last year and found the wall metres away from the side of their home when they returned from honeymoon
Speaking about the incident Mr Entwistle said: ‘We are so relieved. I can’t tell you how excited we are that the fence is down.
‘Our fear now is that it will put it back up again – we just hope it is gone for good.
‘I was nervous about coming to the press but I am so glad we did now – it may have saved us months of dispute.’
Thomas and Rebekah moved into the £220,000 four-bedroomed property on Persimmon Homes’s Brook View development, just before Christmas.
They arrived home from an 11-day honeymoon in the Dominican Republic earlier this month to find their home’s outlook blocked by the intrusive wooden panel.
And they said that since their return, their lives had been ruined by the fence – and they even considered moving out.
Thomas Entwistle, 27, and his wife Rebekah, 24, had both returned from a ten day honeymoon when they found it
Furious Thomas thought the fence was erected by the owner of nearby Upper Mickle Hay Farm in a dispute with Persimmon over land borders.
However, Persimmon insisted that none of its development encroaches on land it does not already own.
Thomas said before the wall was toppled: ‘This was our dream home and now it’s turned into a nightmare – it feels like we are imprisoned in our own house by this fence.
‘We are being held hostage in a land dispute which is nothing to do with us.
‘Rebekah and I have just started our own business and had to fight to get a mortgage and then to get this house.
‘We bought it because of the view which has now been replaced by a huge wooden fence nailed to our own little one.
‘Rebekah is always in tears. She is in despair – there was no warning and the fence just appeared.
‘It is 2ft from our front window and front door – it’s like having the Berlin Wall in front of our home.’
Thomas and his wife, who married in July, said they would not have even considered the property if they had known the trouble in store for them.
Thomas said: ‘We’re not even sure we want to live here now.
‘Even if the fence gets taken down there is no guarantee it won’t come back later or even be extended around the back – we are in fear of that.’
The couple, who had moved from rented accommodation, considered employing their own solicitor.
Thomas added: ‘At first I was tearful but now I’m angry.
‘We specifically bought this house, beating off a lot of competition, for its beautiful views and now they’ve gone.
‘We now keep the curtains closed in the front room and spend most of our time upstairs – Rebekah is too upset to be in the living room.
‘We just want it sorted out quickly and permanently so we can enjoy our new home in peace.’
Mr Entwistle was shocked to find that the enormous fence stands just two feet from his living room window
Developers Persimmon removed the fence after Blackburn with Darwen Council planning officials visited and told the firm the fence was constructed on land they owned.
The council officials will now see if it was in breach of planning regulations.
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes said: ‘Our staff have taken down the fence after consultation with council planning officers.’
Local councillor Sylvia Liddle said: ‘I am delighted for this young couple who have been so distressed – it is a victory for common sense and we now need to ensure it is a permanent solution.’
A spokeswoman for the farmer’s land agent Gary Hoerty Associates of Grindleton declined to comment.
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes said: ‘We are confident none of our development encroaches on land not legitimately within our ownership.
The couple compared the structure to the Berlin Wall as it obscured their view of the surrounding countryside
Thomas Entwistle and Cllr Sylvia Liddle who are petitioning the developer to do something about the fence
A neighbour, whose front path has been obstructed by this new 4ft wire fence put up by the farmer has said: ‘When we first bought the plot before we moved in, we were told our fence would be about 4ft tall. It is smaller than that
A neighbour, whose front path has been obstructed by this new 4ft wire fence put up by the farmer said before it was removed: ‘When we first bought the plot before we moved in, we were told our fence would be about 4ft tall. It is smaller than that.
‘Two weeks ago I came out and saw him putting up this wire fencing.
‘He claimed he was setting his boundaries. He only went so far up because the metal fencing put up by the builders is still up too.
‘He already has a cattle grid so I doubt any of his animals would get down here anyway.
‘If my cat was still alive, he wouldn’t have been able to get out because of the fencing.’
‘Two weeks ago I came out and saw him putting up this wire fencing. He claimed he was setting his boundaries. He only went so far up because the metal fencing put up by the builders is still up too,’ she said
‘If my cat was still alive, he wouldn’t have been able to get out because of the fencing,’ the neighbour added