Driffield NewsNEWS

Hoping to find the mystery landowner

A Driffield couple are appealing for help in their quest to find the owner of a piece of land that backs onto their home, where trees are growing out of control and encroaching on their back garden.

Peter and Valerie Kelly will have lived in the houses owned by the Railway Housing Association on Wansford Road for a year by the end of February.

But although largely content their home, the trees that overhang their garden have proved to be a blight over the last 12 months or so.

The piece of overgrown land is situated between the Railway Housing Association properties and two semi-detached houses and runs along the back of the houses on New Walk Close and Manor Close, just off New Walk.

The trees create a substantial barrier at the back of Peter and Valerie’s house that blocks light out throughout the year and means the couple are even forced to switch lights on in the house at the height of summer.

Simply cutting back the trees and other shrubbery would be the ideal to solution to the problem.
But having contacted the Railway Housing Association, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Land Registry and a local estate agent to try and find the owner, Peter and Valerie have yet to find out who is responsible for the upkeep of the land.

“When we came to look at the house, the trees were obviously where they are now, but it wasn’t something we thought was going to affect us in the way it has,” Valerie told the Wolds Weekly.

“We’ve since learned that the lady who lived here before us also had an issue with the trees that was never resolved and other neighbours have also tried to get them cut back.

“The Railway Housing Association’s hands are tied, as it’s not their land. I went into the estate agents and spoke to someone.

“My details were taken, but despite returning on several occasions, I’ve yet to receive a response.

“I’ve also been in touch with East Riding of Yorkshire Council who got back to me right away and said they couldn’t do anything, as it isn’t council-owned property.

“I contacted the Land Registry, who said they could help, but I would need to submit an exact replica drawing of the area.

“We’re pensioners, why should we have to do that?”

A secondary problem caused by the trees is the mess created whilst they are in leaf, with the couple’s brown bin regularly full to the brim.

Peter and Valerie’s next-door neighbour has also seen issues with apples falling on his garden from one of the other overhanging trees.

They have even offered to undertake and fund the work required to cut back the trees themselves, but as it is not their land, have been advised not to for legal reasons.

“At this time of year, you expect there will be a need to switch the lights on,” added Valerie.

“But that shouldn’t be the case in August. We have no form of daylight in the back garden during summer.

“It completely shades our garden and we don’t have any sun coming through.

“I like gardening, but the number of leaves that drop onto the garden from the trees is making it hard work for me.

“Our brown bin is emptied every fortnight and it is full of leaves sometimes.

“The land is not being used for anything and it needs tending to. Whoever owns it should do that.

“It’s gone beyond a joke now and we’re beginning to get annoyed.”

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