Newlyweds Thomas and Rebekah Entwistle were living the high life. Not only did they just get married, but they had planned and saved up enough to live in their very own dream home. However, that dream would suddenly turn into a nightmare, as the two returned from their honeymoon in the Caribbean to find that a mysterious fence had been barricaded around their house. This was only just the beginning.
Before The Nightmare
If there were ever two people meant to be together, it was 24-year-old Rebekah and 27-year-old Thomas Entwistle. The English pair were both music teachers, both shared a similar dream, and were both madly in love with one another, so in love that Thomas decided to get down on one knee and propose to Rebekah back in 2017.
Once the two were married, they decided to leave the city life behind and begin looking for a home somewhere a little more quiet. That’s when Blackburn, a town in the northern county of Lancashire came to mind. Of course, finding their dream home would be no easy task. In the beginning, the town presented nothing that they felt they could live in forever. Then they saw something too beautiful to be real.
The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
Sitting outside of the town was a home that looked straight out of their dreams. The interior and exterior of the structure were ideal for the lives they wanted to live. However, the main selling point for the couple was the lovely countryside view. Tea time would be taken to the next level with surroundings like those.
The house, however, wasn’t going to be cheap. It was two stories, four bedrooms, and even had a garden. They were far from the only couple that would have liked to move in. However, the pair knew that they weren’t about to back down. They had a plan that would assure them that the house would be theirs.
A Summer To Remember
Rebekah and Thomas both worked as music teachers and had recently opened up their own business. They were definitely able to secure a mortgage for the $290,000 home. As of December 2017, the couple stood before the greatest Christmas gift they could ever have, the dream home they had been longing for.
After Rebekah and Thomas moved in, they celebrated by going on the honeymoon of a lifetime. For eleven days, the couple relaxed and lived it up in the Dominican Republic. Life couldn’t have felt any more blissful for them. That said, when they returned to England they would soon find that their big dream home was really a nightmare in disguise.
Their Personal Berlin Wall
When the two newlyweds pulled up to their dream home, something was terribly wrong. Somehow, while they were in the Caribbean, a giant six-foot high fence had been erected around their entire home. They had no idea how this could have happened in the span of eleven days — let alone why.
As they settled back into their home, they felt awful. The post-vacation hype had completely been hampered by the mysterious fence. Given the time of night, the couple couldn’t begin making calls the minute they returned. They had to wait and wonder about the fence till dawn. That is when the mysterious fence would show just how much of an obstruction it truly was.
Dream Home Turned Into a Nightmare
The fence didn’t fail at sucking the joy out of the Entwistles’ dream home. Unless they were on the second floor, they literally couldn’t look out of the window without seeing that eyesore of a fence blocking their view. Furthermore, they had to kiss the notion of enjoying their garden or sitting outside for some tea goodbye.
During an interview, Thomas remarked: “This was our dream home and now it’s turned into a nightmare – it feels like we’re imprisoned in our own house.” After making several calls, the ugly truth about their fence would come to light. Oddly enough, it turned out that it had very little to do with the couple themselves.
Caught In The Crossfire
The fence had been erected at the demands of a local man named David Preece. He was the owner of a nearby farm called Upper Mickle Hay Farm, and in a rage, he put the six-foot fence around Thomas and Rebekah’s new home. The spiteful creation was literally two feet away from their dream home’s front door.
As far as Rebekah and Thomas knew, they had no connection to this man. As they went out to investigate, the reason behind the fence would soon come to light. What Rebekah and Thomas would find is that their fence had nothing to do with them on a personal level. They were caught in the crossfire of something beyond their control.
Moving Into a War Zone
What the Entwistles would find out was that they had moved onto a property that was at the center of a war being waged by David Preece. The farmer was involved in a land border dispute with Persimmon Homes, the company that carelessly sold the home to Thomas and Rebekah.
Apparently, the couple was technically moving onto land that David Preece considered to be his own, and they weren’t told a thing about it. Now, whether they wanted to or not, they’d have to join the battle. Together, the two discussed what kind of action they could take against the furious farmer.
Coming To Terms
For a while, shock was the only thing that the Entwistles felt. The whole situation was just surreal for them. They had spent nearly everything that they had to buy that house, and did so specifically for the amazing pastoral view. Now that view was stolen from them.
Thomas and Rebekah considered taking legal action against the farmer, but their emotions were getting the best of them rather quickly. These cases could take months to get to the bottom of. How long was the couple expected to live with that ugly fence blocking their path? Before any legal proceedings would even take off, Rebekah would break.
The Results of Their Heartbreak
The fence sent the couple into an utter depression. Rebekah especially took it very hard. She would constantly burst into tears whenever she saw a glimpse of the fence. Sadly, she began avoiding the first floor of the home completely and would do everything upstairs.
While Thomas surely had his tear-filled moments, his depression was soon washed over by a flow of anger and resentment. He couldn’t stand even the slightest thought of the selfish farmer who was ruining their home and the first year of their marriage. Realistically, 2017 should have been one of the best years of their lives. In an effort to find out what he could do, Thomas talked to a lawyer. The news wouldn’t be so optimistic.
Devastating News For The Entwistles
Thomas spilled his sorrows to a local Blackburn lawyer, but after researching the details surrounding the dispute between David Preece and Persimmon Homes, it’d turn out that the Entwistles didn’t have much say in anything. They didn’t even have a case.
It definitely crossed their minds to tear the fence down from around the house themselves, but David Preece would legally be able to put up another fence and even extend it to the back of the house. They could perhaps tire him out by constantly knocking down the fences, but they’d ultimately be living a life of tension. This is when Thomas came up with a plan B.
Abandoning The Dream Home?
Rebekah could no longer stand to live in the nightmare she once thought of as her dream home. Devastated over the lack of justice, she packed her bags and flew the coop to her family home. This left Thomas all alone in Blackburn, and it was time for him to make some big decisions. He thought long and hard about either staying in their dream home or abandoning ship. It was either live a fenced-in life or flee.
However, this plan also wouldn’t be so easy. Just who on Earth would want to buy such a nice house that had an ugly fence surrounding it? Even if he could sell it, did Thomas have it in him to switch off his moral compass and sell the home without telling anyone about the dispute? Just as the situation looked hopeless, in shone a beacon of hope.
A Chance For Justice?
Thomas searched far and wide for anyone who could deliver just a tidbit of good news to him and Rebekah. While most had nothing but bad news to bear, Thomas struck gold when he ran into a local councilwoman named Sylvia Liddle.
Instead of just giving him a sorry expression and a word of encouragement, she looked shocked, appalled, and actually wanted to go down and actually survey the property. She immediately labelled the situation as “outrageous, unfair, unnecessary, and unjust”. She definitely raised their spirits, but the only way they’d get any kind of justice was through working with Persimmon Homes — and the company’s reaction was horrid.
Turning A Blind Eye
A little help from Persimmon Homes, the developers of Thomas and Rebekah’s dream home, could have gone such a long way. Sadly, they had no intentions of being cooperative when it came to the cutthroat land dispute. They were 100% positive that they had not built on land that they didn’t own.
With that said, Persimmon Homes was fully willing to admit that the fence surrounding the home was illegal and in breach of planning regulations. They went on to even assure Thomas and Rebekah that they were taking care of the fence. However, they’d need to take those words with a grain of salt, as zero progress towards removing the fence had been made since its discovery.
Nothing To Lose
One of the most important things for a neighborhood to have is peace. Disputes between neighbors are known to get ugly pretty fast (given they already know where each other lives) and can even end with prison sentences or worse. Once people get territorial, they begin to get particularly aggressive.
Nobody was helping Thomas, and he soon felt all alone in his problem with the neighbor. Experts have noted that the best thing a bothered neighbor can do is take a few deep breaths and handle any issues with some understanding. Just how long would Thomas be able to hold out before his emotions got the better of him? Luckily for Thomas, the man wasn’t as alone as he thought he was.
Fighting Behind The Scenes
With Rebekah packed up and living with her parents miles away, Thomas felt truly alone on a Cold War battlefield. However, he still had one person in his corner, and that was Sylvia Liddle. She wasn’t about to walk away from Thomas and Rebekah’s home and forget all about them.
Some would figure that the politician would see their sad situation, give them a few words of encouragement, and then go about her business, but not Sylvia Liddle. She would constantly bring up their case and persuade local authorities to take action. After many impatient sighs and deep breaths, she finally managed to move a mountain.
The Moment of Truth
After weeks of demanding that Thomas and Rebekah receive justice for their horrid situation, Councilwoman Liddle was finally successful in getting planning officials from Blackburn to survey the house. Joining them were officials from the nearby Darwen Council. Together, the two teams would determine the fate of the menacing fence.
Thomas was no doubt shaking in his shoes as the inspection went underway. The officials gave the fence a very detailed look over and also took note of the land surrounding the home. They talked amongst themselves, pointed things out, and finally one of them approached a hopeful Thomas with an answer.
The Fate of The Fence
The planning officials determined that the fence had indeed been erected on land owned by Persimmon Homes. You can only imagine the cheers that erupted from Thomas and Rebekah when they heard that news — not to mention the intense rush of emotions now that this weight had been removed from their shoulders. It wasn’t only a victory for the Entwistles, but also for Persimmon Homes.
Finally they could put an end to the battle that they had long waged with David Preece. Despite the decision, the fence wasn’t something that was going to be brought down at that very moment. The responsibility was laid on a very specific set of shoulders.
Getting Their Home Back
Out of the woodwork came Persimmon Homes, finally ready to do their part and remove the fence that had so long rested in front of one of its homes. A company spokesperson commented, “Our staff have taken down the fence after consultation with council planning officials.”
With the fence knocked down, the Entwistles could finally breathe easy and enjoy the view they had loved so much. Sylvia Liddle was over the top about the final decision and said, “I’m delighted for this young couple who have been so distressed.” She also went on to say that it wasn’t just a victory for Thomas and Rebekah, but for common sense. However, Thomas and Rebekah still had some fears.
To begin with, Thomas and Rebekah expressed relief over the fence that haunted them. Thomas even remarked, “I can’t tell you how excited we are that the fence is down.” However, nothing in life is quite so straightforward, and he knew this from personal experience.
He would further say that being grounded in reality prevented him from feeling like there wasn’t a chance that the fence would pop up again one morning, even with the council’s decision in place. While Thomas and Rebekah celebrated having their dream home back, they knew in the back of their minds that not far away from them was a very disappointed and disgruntled individual.
A Looming Threat
Over the hills and only a few minutes away was the Upper Mickle Hay Farm, and inside that farm was David Preece. While the young couple felt overjoyed about getting their view back, he no doubt felt cheated by the system and robbed of land that he felt was rightfully his.
Nobody knew too much about this man, but they did know that he was petty enough to spend his time and money to build a fence around that home. Now that the land was taken from him, would he simply cut his losses and move on or let the resentment fester? Nobody, including the Entwintles could be sure, and thus, they still lived in fear.
The Fence Goes Viral
The ridiculous situation that the young couple had faced would quickly become picked up by an array of UK news networks. From there, it would go viral online and would garner an international audience. When it came down to the couple, the fence, and the angry farmer, everyone had an opinion.
One person offered the couple some words of wisdom and said, “Don’t buy a house built several feet from a property line. Life’s lessons are never free. The farmer is probably thinking, you wreck my view with the huge homes built on your legal property, then I’ll repay you by building a 6ft tall fence on my property.” Some advice, however, was far from serious.
Get a Restraining Order
An English commenter named Foldy left the following statement, “To put that fence up he must have trespassed on their land numerous times when he was erecting it. I’m sure he hasn’t got the time or money to pay for fences every five minutes. If he comes back and starts to build it again, then film him with commentary stating how many times he’s stepped over your boundary and then ring the police.”
He further stated, “Now they won’t do anything, because you know they are the police and you’ve more chance of them tasering a child for scrumping. However, it builds a legal case against the farmer. Go to your solicitor and get a restraining order put on him for harassment.” Other wrote comments directed completely at Preece.
The Nerve of Preece
One commenter couldn’t believe the nerve and overall bitterness of the farmer. They went on to say, “The farmer is being very spiteful to total strangers! Who knows what his problem is but I feel for these people. There was already a fence there but he put up his just to block the view from the front windows.”
They further exclaimed, “How horrible and he doesn’t even know them!! Sad how mean people are to each other.” This same exact sentiment was shared by others, as another person left a statement saying, “It’s an appalling shame that people simply can’t get along. Far too much of this sort of garbage is going on.” One person called out farmers from all over.
Calling Out Other Farmers
One person decided to share their own story relating to a petty farmer. This commentator explained, “A guy I used to work with moved into a house on a Friday and on Saturday morning woke up to find that the whole house from top to bottom had been splattered in manure by a local farmer using a muck spreader.”
He continued by saying, “He went to the farmer to ask what happened. The farmer opened the door and said ‘sorry, I didn’t know the last people had sold it and moved out.’ I used to think farmers (a lot of them) were honorable, but my experience of living in the countryside and having to deal with their underhanded ways has me thinking differently about them now.” Others took a deep look into the farmer’s behavior.
Fence of Spite
One respondent spoke for us all when he said, “The fence seems to have been erected more out of spite than anything else. How cowardly and despicable of the farmer to take his dispute with the builders out on the people who just happened to buy the property. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the argument — and there are possibly merits on both sides — it has nothing to do with the purchaser.”
They followed that up by saying, “The farmer should dismantle this eyesore immediately and start talking in a mature, adult way with the people that he actually has the problem with, instead of taking it out on a completely innocent couple who have just got caught in the middle.” For now, it seems, at least these newlyweds can begin to enjoy a future that appears that much brighter.
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