When This Couple Returned From Honeymoon, They Discovered A Neighbor Had Ruined Their Dream Home

Rebekah and Thomas Entwistle returned from their honeymoon excited to revisit to their dream home in the north of England. But when they got back in May 2018, things weren’t quite as they had left them. While they were away someone – believed to be a disgruntled neighbor – had made some upsetting modifications.

Thomas and Rebekah married in July 2017. Though they were living in rented accommodation, when they saw their dream home in Blackburn, Lancashire in the UK, they knew they had to have it. The purchase of the four-bedroomed, $290,000 house, however, wasn’t easy.

The young couple both work as music tutors and had just set up their own company. As 27-year-old Thomas explained to the Lancashire Telegraph newspaper in May 2018, “Rebekah and I have just started our own business and had to fight to get a mortgage and then to get this house.”

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But purchase the house they did, and shortly before Christmas 2017 Thomas and his 24-year-old wife moved into the Persimmon Homes dwelling on the new Brook View estate. Doubtless there were many things they liked about their new home, but a major attraction for the newlyweds was the stunning views over the Lancashire countryside.

Finally settled, the newlyweds were at last able to go on their long-awaited honeymoon in May 2018. For two weeks the couple would unwind on a romantic Caribbean getaway to the Dominican Republic. Their return home, however, would not be a pleasant one.

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When Thomas and Rebekah arrived back at their new home, not everything was as they left it. When they pulled up to the property, they saw that a wooden fence had been constructed in front of the dwelling mere feet from the front door. Needless to say, the couple were horrified.

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A six-foot wooden barricade was standing tall in front of their home, just two feet from the front door and living room window. The fence obscured the stunning views that had compelled the couple to buy the home in the first place.

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At the time Thomas told the Lancashire Telegraph, “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.” As he explained, “We bought it because of the view, which has now been replaced by a huge wooden fence nailed to our own little one.”

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Thomas’s wife didn’t take the modification to their home environment well at all. As he described, “Rebekah is always in tears. She is in despair. There was no warning. The fence just appeared.” So who put it there?

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Well, it is believed the fence was constructed by a local farmer apparently not happy with the property developers who had built homes in the area. So when Thomas and Rebekah returned from their romantic break, they found the barricade believed to have been erected by David Preece just feet from their front door.

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“We are being held hostage in a land dispute which is nothing to do with us,” Thomas said at the time. “It is two feet from our front window and front door. It’s like having the Berlin Wall in front of our home.” Indeed, the couple were baffled as to why they had been caught up in a dispute that had little to do with them.

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In fact, the couple found the situation so upsetting that they ended up wondering why they had wanted to move into the home at all. As Thomas explained to the Lancashire Telegraph, “No one mentioned this at all, and if we’d have had any inkling of it, we would not have bought the house.”

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And on top of their regrets over buying the property, the couple were conflicted as to whether they wanted to stay. Not only did they have the stress of feeling like prisoners in their own home, but on top of that they had the burden of any consequences they faced in fixing the situation.

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As Thomas explained at the time, “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.” And, like them, who’d want to buy a property whose land border is in dispute?

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The whole affair had turned into a very emotional situation for Thomas. “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.”

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And it seemed as though Rebekah had taken the situation even harder than her husband. As he described at the time, “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.”

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Persimmon Homes, the development company which built the Entwistles’ home, was adamant it was not to blame. A spokesman said in mid-May, “We are confident none of our development encroaches on land not legitimately within our ownership.”

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The Persimmon Homes spokesman continued, “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.”

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The farmer’s land agent merely acknowledged the dispute was ongoing. Meanwhile local councillor Sylvia Liddle had labeled the situation “outrageous, unfair, unnecessary and unjust”. However, there may now be light at the end of the tunnel for the couple.

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At the end of May 2018 daily newspaper Metro reported that the fence had been pulled down by Persimmon Homes – doubtless much to the Entwistles’ delight. Thomas told its reporter, “We are just so relieved” but added, “Our fear now is that it will put it back up again – we just hope it is gone for good.” Only time will tell…

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