Pregnant hairdresser says neighbour's new fence is blocking buggy from garden

A pregnant hairdresser has become engulfed in a bitter row with her grandparents’ neighbours after they built an ‘obstructive’ fence in the middle of their shared back garden.

Lorraine Smith, 32, says the obstruction means she cannot get her buggy into the back green and it blocks off access for her elderly grandparents.

The mum-to-be, who cares for her grandparents at their home in Oxgangs, Edinburgh, and regularly stays with them, says the fence has left her without access to their back garden and gate.

She says the fence has also made it difficult for her grandparents to use the steps and left the elderly couple ‘in tears’.

Ms Smith, who is eight months pregnant with her first child, says the new neighbours, who ‘haven’t even been living here for a year’, have left her unable to get a buggy into the back garden and blocked off access for her 78-year-old grandparents.

Her frail granddad is now allegedly unable to get down the communal steps to take his dog for a walk.

‘They have literally taken up half of the steps with the fence and built their own, which makes no sense,’ she said.

‘As it’s an old coal mine house, the back garden is communal and so are the steps at the back of the property.

‘When they moved in last August they were told that it was a communal garden and was split in half so anything that they wanted to build had to be put in a letter to my grandparents.

Lorraine claimed her grandparents initially agreed to the fence and even forked up £600 for it, before realising it restricted their access to the garden.

‘Last Thursday, February 23, I came to the house and saw the joiner building the fence. When the neighbours were planning on building it, they told my grandparents but did not say that it would take up one metre of their land.

‘They said they wanted their own privacy and couldn’t understand why it was a communal area anyway. My grandparents said that was fine, but now their access has been completely restricted.

‘When the joiner was building it, I went and knocked on their door but funnily enough nobody was in. Later that night, I knocked again and they told me I was just looking for an argument and that the fence was built so I’d have to deal with it.’

Ms Smith has taken images of the narrow passage between the back door and steps, saying it is not wide enough for a pram or for her granddad to get out, who regularly takes their dog to the park.

It is understood that if the council are content with the fence being a permitted development then it would not have required planning permission and they can not get involved in the matter.

She continued: ‘They have literally taken up half of the steps with the fence and built their own, which makes no sense. They also charged my grandparents £600 for the fence.

‘I’m getting advice from a lawyer and they are drafting up a letter to inform the family that the fence has to be moved further towards their porch or taken down.

‘My nana is in tears due to the whole situation and it’s so sickening as they have lived here their whole lives. I have tried to speak with the neighbours again but they basically slammed the door in my face.

‘They asked why I would need access with a pram to the garden but that’s nothing to do with them and it saves me walking all the way around to get access to the park.’

A spokesperson for the City of Edinburgh Council said: ‘We are aware of this incident and are looking into it.’

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