A BITTER neighbour boundary dispute has been settled in court – after raging for DECADES.

The row between two warring pensioners revolves around a quarter of an acre of disputed territory – with both parties saying it has cost them tens of thousands and affected their mental health.

Ian Revell, 66, claims the pair are each entitled to one acre of land

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Ian Revell, 66, claims the pair are each entitled to one acre of landCredit: SWNS
Angela Coupe, 70, claims she first bought 1.5 acres of land in 1972

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Angela Coupe, 70, claims she first bought 1.5 acres of land in 1972Credit: SWNS
Ian believes Angela has encroached onto his land by half an acre

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Ian believes Angela has encroached onto his land by half an acre
Angela claims the Revell family sold a quarter of an acre in 1945, leaving them with 0.77 of an acre

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Angela claims the Revell family sold a quarter of an acre in 1945, leaving them with 0.77 of an acreCredit: SWNS

Angela Coupe, 70, claims she first bought 1.5 acres of land in 1972, a five minute drive from her detached bungalow in Chesterfield, which she used for horses in 1974.

She built a wooden post along a concrete boundary which she said had been there since the 1930s.

The retired social worker and former Marie Curie nurse said she was “horrified” when she caught her neighbour Ian Revell, 66, and his late father moving the posts in her field in the mid 1990s and approached them.

She claims that she is entitled to 1.5 acres, and that the Revell family sold a quarter of an acre in 1945, leaving them with 0.77 of an acre.

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However, Mr Revell has refused to budge and hit back at her claims.

He claims they are each entitled to one acre, meaning that Angela is currently encroaching by taking half an acre more than she is entitled to.

For nearly 30 years the two families have been at loggerheads, but Southern Derby Magistrates Court has now ruled in favour of Mr Revell with a judge ruling his adversary had lied about putting up a fence.

Following the verdict, Angela said she was “appalled” while Ian said it was only right as he claimed the plot had been in his family for years.

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Angela has levelled the land she believes she owns and placed the good soil inside her boundary for further use for the land. She has also now claimed Mr Revell trapped the top soil in when he moved the fence.

She uses the land for her animals, including four rescue pigs.

What are your options in a boundary dispute?

“A quarter of an acre is a lot for rescue animals, it makes a difference to the animals. They have less land to graze in”, she said.

Meanwhile, Ian would prefer to leave the land as woodland. His late parents are buried nearby, and he claims the dispute has stopped his family from grieving.

“My mum used to go and visit my dad’s grave on a regular basis. Once this dispute started, my mum never visited it,” he said.

Ian and Angela were in a court dispute for around three years over the matter, which ended in January 2024 when Angela lost the case and was made to pay the Revell family £2,000.

COSTS

The total costs of the case are yet to be determined, but Mr Revell believes he has paid around £29,000 so far, while Angela believes the case has cost her £30,000.

Angela said she was now looking at ways to appeal, after claiming evidence she produced was not taken into account.

She added: “When I went up to them and asked them what they were doing, they said they’d measured the land and found we had some of their land.

“The surveyor measured me out 1.5 acres,” Angela said, explaining that the surveyor had put markers in what she believed were all the appropriate places.

The next morning, Angela discovered that all of the markers had been removed.

She said: “All the markers had been taken out by them and thrown on the land.

“I had to pay another £350 for the markers to be put in again and I begged my neighbours to have a surveyor even though they told me I didn’t need a surveyor.”

Mr Revell, 66, who lives in Glapwell, Chesterfield, claimed Angela was wrongfully trying to take a quarter of an acre away.

He added: “Her surveyor had measured an acre, when it was never an acre in the beginning.

“She accused me of moving the fence – it’s a complete and utter lie.

What to do in a land dispute

Boundary disputes can cost a considerable amount, especially if they go to a tribunal or court hearing.

If this is the case, it is not uncommon for both sides to run up legal costs into the tens of thousands of pounds.

It is therefore advised to try and avoid such action.

Make sure you firmly establish boundaries by checking the legal documents from when you bought the property.

It is possible to access these, as well as your neighbour’s, through the Land Registry.

Speak to your neighbour in person and if you can’t agree, you may need to enlist a surveyor and solicitor.

“It’s a piece of land that’s been in our family for years and years. It was my grandad who bought it years ago and he actually lived on the land.”

The dispute escalated to court in January 2024, and although Angela lost she still maintains her innocence.

She added: “The judge said that I had never put a fence up even though it was in my evidence, and that I had lied, and he said that I did not make contact with the neighbours. It’s appalling.

“I couldn’t eat for a week, I lost a stone for a week.

“I’m appalled by the justice system in this country. I wrote a letter to the judge and I’ve just had an email to say they can’t pass it on.

“I feel as though I have liar tattooed on my forehead,” she said, saying that she would now like to take a lie detector test to “clear” her name.

“I did not have the funds to get support at the time hence why I am in this situation now. I should have got advice from Citizens Advice Centre.”

THE VERDICT

But the verdict was welcomed by Revell, who added: “The judge has said, no, you’re wrong.

“Four separate surveys have agreed that our fence was in the correct position more of less.

“It’s been a terrible three or four years because my dad’s grave is there so we’ve not been able to grieve properly.

“My mum used to go and visit the grave on a regular basis. Once this dispute started, my mum never visited it.

“I rarely go there because I feel so frustrated because she’s taken a quarter of our land.

“She was damaging our posts so I went with my brother in law to try and repair the bit that she was damaging.”

Ian said that the total cost of court bills has come to over £20,000 for him and his family.

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He added: “It’s just loads and loads of hassle, especially around the time when my parents have been passing away – it’s just been bad.”

Angela is now due to remove her fences, which are in a position the judge deemed incorrect some point this month.

The dispute escalated to court in January 2024, and although Angela lost she still maintains her innocence

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The dispute escalated to court in January 2024, and although Angela lost she still maintains her innocenceCredit: SWNS
Ian says due to the dispute, his mum has not been able to visit her husband's grave

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Ian says due to the dispute, his mum has not been able to visit her husband’s graveCredit: SWNS
Angela is now due to remove her fences, which are in a position the judge deemed incorrect

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Angela is now due to remove her fences, which are in a position the judge deemed incorrectCredit: SWNS

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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