When newlyweds Thomas and Rebekah Entwistle returned from their honeymoon, they were expecting to come back to their recently-bought dream home.
What they didn’t expect was to find a 6ft fence had been erected right outside their window – just 2ft from their front door and living room.
The fence is thought to have been erected by a disgruntled farmer who is locked in a dispute with developer Persimmon Homes, which built the couple’s new house, and its neighbouring properties.
Music teacher Thomas 27, and 24-year-old Rebekah, only moved into the four-bedroom property on Brook View estate in Blackburn, Lancashire, just before Christmas.
Earlier this month they returned from an 11-day honeymoon in the Dominican Republic to find the view from their house blocked by the new fence.
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Thomas thinks the fence was erected by the owner of nearby Upper Mickle Hay Farm in a dispute with Persimmon over land borders, but Persimmon insists that none of its development encroaches on land it does not already own.
Thomas said: “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“We bought it because of the view which has now been replaced by a huge wooden fence nailed to our own little one.”
He said his wife is now always in tears, adding: “It is 2ft from our front window and front door – it’s like having the Berlin Wall in front of our home.”
The couple, who married in July, say they would not have even considered the property if they had known what lay ahead, and aren’t sure they even want to live there 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,” said Thomas. “We are in fear of that.”
The Entwistles, who had moved from rented accommodation, have 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.”
A spokesman for Persimmon Homes said: “We are confident none of our development encroaches on land not legitimately within our ownership.
“We understand planning enforcement action is being taken against the neighbouring landowner to address the fence, which has been erected illegally and in breach of planning regulations.”
The owner of Upper Mickle Hay Farm has been contacted for comment.