Fury as 35-year garden ‘stolen’ for car park

Residents and councillor Betty Rhodes outside the New Wells sheltered accommodation flats, Thornhill Street,Wakefield. The people living there have maintained a garden there and have grown a mature laurel tree over the last 35 years. Now Yorkshire Housing, which owns flats next door, says it owns the land and has been given planning permission to dig up the trees and take over the garden as a car park. Many of the residents are infirm and the garden is the only place they get to go outside. it's all to do with a mistaken boundary but residents believe they have right of way after 35 years.
Residents and councillor Betty Rhodes outside the New Wells sheltered accommodation flats, Thornhill Street,Wakefield. The people living there have maintained a garden there and have grown a mature laurel tree over the last 35 years. Now Yorkshire Housing, which owns flats next door, says it owns the land and has been given planning permission to dig up the trees and take over the garden as a car park. Many of the residents are infirm and the garden is the only place they get to go outside. it's all to do with a mistaken boundary but residents believe they have right of way after 35 years.

People living at a sheltered housing scheme have been left devastated by plans to rip up their beloved garden to make way for a car park.

For the past 35 years people living at New Wells, Thornhill Street, have had use of the outdoor space for gardening, socialising and other activities.

However, Yorkshire Housing, which owns the neighbouring Ingsbeck Mews flats, now wants to build a car park over part of the garden after realising the initial boundaries were wrong and that they own that part of the land.

Stuart Pickering said: “We have been using this garden for 35 years. A while ago Yorkshire Housing asked if they could buy some of the garden for a car park. We said no but they realised they owned the land anyway so have got planning permission to build the car park.”

Mr Pickering said that, for some of the more elderly and infirm residents, the garden was their only chance of getting outside and that the work would mean a mature laurel tree would have to be moved.

He said: “Yorkshire Housing is taking the only flat bit, which means people in wheelchairs or with walkers will be stuck inside now. And the parking spaces they have are never full.”

A Yorkshire Housing spokesman said: “Ingsbeck Mews includes some parking bays and our tenants complained to us of a lack of parking. After checking with the Land Registry, the land next to the car park belonged to us. We commissioned architects to design and apply for planning permission for seven additional parking bays, which was granted. We will now look to go ahead later in the year. We intend to protect existing hedgerows. Our neighbourhood manager is prepared to meet with local residents.”