An elderly couple say their lives have been plunged into darkness after their neighbour installed a 6ft fence in front of their living room window.
Arthur and Eva Evans, who are both in their eighties, say the Lancashire home they hoped would be a rural idyll is turning into a prison due to a fence put up by neighbour Roger Clark.
The retired teachers say the grey fence – which is just a foot from their windows – was supposed to be temporary, but has been up for around 14 months.
A 6ft fence installed in front of an elderly couple’s window has cut out the light to their home
Retired teachers Arthur and Eva Evans say their lives have been made a misery by the fence
The couple – who now have the lights on in some rooms all day – have contemplated moving but fear they will be unable to sell their house, which should be worth almost £400,000.
Mr Evans, 86, said: ‘We have got five windows along that side now. Four are quite small and one is of a reasonable size. It looks out over their (the Clarks’s) drive and to the fields beyond.
‘Five windows are now blocked off which is stopping the light coming in and is obstructing our view.
‘Now we look out and we can see nothing. The fence totally blocks the small windows. With the larger window there is a three inch gap so we can look up to the heavens and that is about it.’
They say the battle over the fence, which is between the two homes in the village of Ashton with Stodday, near Lancaster, is affecting their health.
The fence was put up while their neighbour builds a wall just a foot from their windows
They say they now have to keep the lights on all day and their lives have been made a misery
Father-of-two Mr Evans said: ‘I was fit and healthy before I moved here but five years ago I had a heart attack and Eva had one 12 months ago.
‘When I had my heart attack the pressure intensified. I would say they are trying to drive us into an early grave.
‘I don’t know if he is getting pleasure out of it. We have suffered tremendously. We have had sleepless nights and we’ve lost our appetite.’
Family friend Lorraine Birch has now launched a petition, which has reached almost 3,000 signatures, calling on the authorities to take action to protect the couple.
Ms Birch, 49, said: ‘Arthur and Eva are like prisoners in their own home. It is causing them extreme distress and is affecting their frail health.’
They fear they will be unable to sell the £400,000 home due to the fence and the wall behind it
A photo from inside the home shows how dark some of the rooms in the house have become
Mr Clark, whose company Stodday Land Ltd owns much of the estate where the Evans’s home is located, insists he has done nothing wrong.
He said: ‘If you know something about something you know more than me because I have not had any complaints about anything.
‘If any claims come through then we will respond whichever way we see fit. For the time being I have had no complaints about any wall.
‘At the moment I have had no representations from anybody’s solicitors, from the planning department or anybody you’re suggesting I might have heard from. I have not heard anything.
‘We have had no complaints about anything. It is a private estate. My company owns most of the estate. We are not in any breach of anything at the moment and my company has received no complaints.’
A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said planning rules allow a fence or gate up to two metres high and experts have advised the couple of other possible legal routes.