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Judge tells feud families to ‘tear down that wall’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 04, 2013

01/02/13 Fall of the 'Berlin Wall' - Frederick Street, Stapenhill Residents celebrating after big wall which stopped them taking shortcut to Ferryvale Close was taken down. .Gillian Jackson and Susan Higgs

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A CONCRETE structure dubbed ‘the Berlin Wall’ has been torn down – after a simmering row between feuding neighbours was ended by a court ruling.

Bill Higgs, of Frederick Street, Stapenhill, said the decision had ended ‘20 months of hell’ for himself, his wife Susan and neighbours Gillian and Stephen Jackson.

The four first appeared in the Mail in May 2011 when residents of neighbouring Ferryvale Close clubbed together to pay for the six-foot monolith, to stop them taking a short cut through, and parking their cars in, the cul-de-sac.

But after a lengthy legal wrangle and two-day trial, a recorder at Chesterfield County Court ordered the wall-builders, Andrew Redfern, David Chance, Barry Farmer and Stephen Baker, to reopen access for their neighbours.

Mr Higgs told the Mail: “Our whole life, that we’ve been used to for more than 40 years, has been altered, and we’ve suffered 20 months of worry.

“It’s always been our right of way and we’d use it to walk through to the shop, chemist or pub.

“We didn’t want to have to go to court – all they had to do was come round and ask to discuss it. We’re too old for this. We want to be left on our own to get on with our life.”

The case of the four anti-wall protesters was bolstered after Mrs Jackson tracked down a former occupant of her house who testified in court her property and the Higgs’ home had enjoyed continuous access via Ferryvale Close for more than 40 years.

She said: “It was quite a daunting thing to have to court for a two-day trial. It was a horrible thing to have to do and we were quite nervous, but we knew we were telling the truth and had nothing to hide.”

Mr Farmer’s son, Andrew, declined to comment, while the three other defendants were not at home when the Mail called.

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