Revealed – The REAL reason behind James Middleton’s bitter neighbour feud: Businessman living 130 yards from Duchess of Cambridge’s brother says he’s wrecked his countryside idyll – by hoarding noisy farm machinery
- Mr Alderton said the old machinery pumps ‘toxic’ fumes into the countryside
- But Mr Middleton has said his neighbour’s complaints are ‘disingenuous’
After swapping the hustle and bustle of London life for the more genteel pace of the Berkshire countryside, James Middleton waxed lyrical about his new village with two cosy pubs and friendly neighbours.
But things aren’t quite so amiable with one neighbour in particular as the Mail told last week how the Duchess of Cambridge’s brother is involved in an on-going feud with businessman David Alderton and his wife Karen, who live just 130 yards away.
It was initially thought that the pair were at loggerheads over a bitter planning dispute with both men wanting to renovate their homes.
But MailOnline can reveal the real source of bad feeling between the warring neighbours stems from Mr Middleton’s passion for hoarding aging farmyard machinery – and keeps a dumper truck running for hours on end, ‘pumping toxic exhaust fumes into the surrounding countryside’.
James Middleton (left) and David Alderton (left) are neighbours who live just 130 yards from one another – but the pair are feuding over a number of issues including a planning dispute – and there has also been tension over Mr Middleton’s collection of farm machinery
Mr Alderton has accused his neighbour Mr Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, of hoarding ageing farmyard equipment at his £1.45million farmhouse in Berkshire (pictured)
Mr Alderton, 64, and huis wife Karen live in a two-bed bungalow (pictured, left) which is just 130 yards away from Mr Middleton’s farmhouse with a 12-acre plot (pictured, right)
The two men initially fell out when they both planned to renovate their home – but the bitter feud has now escalated, says Mr Alderton, over his neighbour’s hoarding of farm machinery
Mr Alderton says that, after living quietly in the countryside for seven years, his peaceful idyll was shattered when the Middletons arrived on his doorstep 18 months ago.
He says Mr Middleton has turned his property into what he calls ‘Steptoe’s yard’ – after the sitcom Steptoe and Son – with his rusting vehicles and rubble.
Meanwhile, in their escalating feud, Mr Middleton has reported his neighbour to police for trespassing onto his 12-acre smallholding and has accused him of being ‘intimidating’ and ‘disingenuous’.
In an angry war of words Mr Alderton told MailOnline: ‘We have lived here for seven years enjoying everything this wonderful and peaceful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has to offer. But our peace has been shattered.
‘His property is like Steptoe’s junk yard, there are three barns full of old farmyard machinery, no good to anyone and it’s all going on 50ft from our front door.
‘This month we have further been subjected to the unwelcome toxic and noxious ingress of fumes within our home from the clearly unsuitable machinery he uses.
‘It’s a matter of public record that complaints have been made to the local council but nothing has been done.’
‘He’s a hoarder and doesn’t say no to anything. He probably thought a few farm implements would go well with the new green wellies he ponces around in.
He went on: ‘It’s ancient, noisy, dirty, smelly machinery, old Massey Fergusons, an old threshing machine, wood chipping machines, you name it.
‘It’s a farm so I suppose he thinks he feels justified in having farm machinery even if it’s derelict.
‘But he has a duty of care to his neighbours and the environment – it should not impact on people nearby.’
Mr Middleton and his French wife Alizee (pictured together) secured permission to make significant changes to the Grade II-listed farmhouse in Berkshire they bought for £1.45m
Mr Alderton says he lived in the village quietly for years before the Middletons arrived. He says that his peaceful countryside idyll has been disrupted by noisy vehicles coming and going
The two men initially fell out when they decided to upgrade their rural properties in the peaceful village of Stanford Dingley, Berkshire.
Mr Middleton and his French wife Alizee secured permission to make significant changes to the Grade II-listed farmhouse in Berkshire they bought for £1.45million – after objecting to an application by the Aldertons.
But Mr Middleton riled his neighbour by hiring an experienced town planner to write a five-page report detailing why Mr Alderton and his wife Karen’s application to demolish their two-bedroom bungalow to build a ‘stunning contemporary home’ should be rejected.
Perhaps surprisingly, Mr Alderton insisted that he has no complaints with his neighbour over their planning dispute.
Instead he says his real issue is his high profile neighbour’s penchant for collecting farm machinery – and the noisy vehicles coming and going from his estate.
‘Our desire was to develop our dwelling and build a modern, eco-friendly home that would indeed aid that recovery as an important part of our future here,’ he said.
‘Mr Middleton’s subsequent objections to our planning application and his involvement of a planning consultant was considered both churlish and regrettable, and in truth had no impact on our appeal dismissal.
‘Interestingly we did not feel it appropriate to offer any objection to his planning application given my personal view that people should be allowed to develop their homes as they desire, providing no one is directly impacted by such development.’
Mr Alderton, who runs a successful motorcycle sales company, added that people who have expressed a negative opinion on his building plans should ‘f*** off and mind their own business’.
Neighbours say that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children (pictured) have been seen walking in the countryside around Mr Middleton’s property
Mr Alderton denies trespassing on his wealthy neighbour’s land saying he simply climbed his gate ‘to attract his attention over the din of a tractor’. He also denies having long-running disputes with other villagers and the Parish Council.
It was all so different when Mr Middleton moved to the Berkshire farmhouse, when he said he had adapted well to the slow pace of country life, saying that he and Alizee feel ‘so lucky to live in a small village’.
His sister the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William have been seen taking leisurely strolls with their children through the country lanes surrounding her brother’s farmhouse. Kate’s parents live in the area and her favourite Berkshire pub the Old Boot is in Stanford Dingley.
Mr Middleton compared it to living in London, saying ‘you don’t have community’ in the capital. But it seems he’s already had enough of his nearest neighbour.
He said: ‘It is disappointing that someone who chooses to live in the countryside in a farming community cannot accept that from time to time there will be noise and smells from tractors and animals especially if they live next to a farm.
‘We are very sensitive to the proximity of our neighbour however we would be neglecting our duty of responsibility for the animals and countryside if we were to adhere to all the wishes from our neighbour.
‘The complaints are disingenuous. Mr Alderton, our neighbour, has made complaints to West Berkshire council who have found no reason to investigate.
‘I volunteered to participate in a council run mediation program to hear the concerns of Mr Alderton and have looked to address some of the issues raised out of goodwill however despite this the complaints continue.
The couple live close to the Middletons’ parents’ house in Bucklebury, Berkshire (pictured)
‘Since moving in we have received a number of intimidating letters from Mr Alderton and on one occasion we have had to call the police due to trespassing.
‘Mr Alderton has a history of disputes with neighbours within the village. In 2017 he took legal action against the parish council and a parishioner and has intimidated many locals for objecting to a series of planning applications all of which have been refused.
‘Recently an appeal for a planning application was dismissed yet again and currently there is an investigation into Mr Alderton’s property for a breach of planning regulations for a garage at his property.’
Meanwhile the neighbourhood row is set to continue – Mr Alderton confirmed he is submitting revised plans for his eco-friendly home to the planning authority.
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