When newlyweds Thomas and Rebekah Entwistle went on their dream vacation to the Caribbean for their honeymoon, they had no idea that they would return to a terrifying real-life nightmare. But that’s exactly what happened when they discovered a mysterious barrier preventing them from getting into their home.
The fence was six feet tall and made out of spare pieces of wood, so not only did it block the view of their beautiful new home, but it was also a horrible eyesore. And the man who put the fence up knew exactly what he was doing, and he even had a plan to drive the couple out of their home.
They Were Made For Each Other
Thomas Entwistle and his girlfriend, Rebekah, were in their 20s. He was 27 at the time, and she was 24. They made a living as music teachers at a local school and had the same life goals. So, one day in 2017, he popped the question.
She Gave Him Her Answer
For Rebekah, it was a no-brainer. Her boyfriend was her one and only, so she said yes. Once they got hitched, they chose to give up the city slicker life. So, they went looking for a less hectic life in the country. But things didn’t go as planned.
They Were Looking for a Place in Blackburn
They set their sights on Blackburn, a quiet town in the northern county region of Lancashire. But they were having issues looking for a property that appealed to them. And then, they saw something they couldn’t resist.
They Found Their Dream Home
They found a property on the outskirts of town that had an interior and exterior that was to die for. But what truly appealed to the newlyweds was the amazing view of the countryside. But the cost of buying this home was pretty high.
The Clock Was Ticking
The home has two floors, four bedrooms, and a garden, but they weren’t the only ones interested in this place. The clock was ticking, and they had to make an offer soon. So, they hatched a plan that would surely guarantee them the house.
They Took Out a Mortgage
Aside from being music teachers, the couple also had their own business, so taking out a mortgage on the $290,000 home wasn’t farfetched. And after securing the funds, they bought the home and moved in. But there was one more thing they needed to do as newlyweds...
They Went on Their Honeymoon
Now that they had a forever home, the Entwistles decided to go on their honeymoon. Their destination? Eleven fun-filled days in the Dominican Republic. It felt like a dream come true, but when the couple returned to England, they had discovered something shocking about their dream home.
There Was a New Fence on Their Property
The newlyweds knew right away that something was wrong when they saw a six-foot wooden fence erected in front of their property. They realized someone had done this while they were on vacation but they weren’t sure why.
The Fence Ruined Their Mood
Thankfully, the couple was still able to get into their home, but their honeymoon euphoria had been dampened by the unsightly fence that someone had mysteriously placed around their property. Unfortunately, they had to wait until the next day to make calls and inquire about the fence. And things only got worse from there.
The Fence Blocked Their View, Too
It was a good thing that the property had two floors because there was no way the Entwistles could enjoy their view from the first floor. The fence blocked pretty much everything, so their dream of enjoying the view from the garden while sipping their traditional cup of tea was ruined.
A Local Farm Owner Was Responsible
The fence was put in place by David Preece, the owner of the Upper Mickle Hay Farm. He had done this in anger and haste, and the fence was just two feet from the newlyweds’ front door. But the anger Preece felt wasn’t directed at them.
It Wasn’t Personal
The couple had never met Preece before, so they knew that there was no way that they could have done something to upset him. But the truth of the matter was that this was some kind of personal attack and soon they discovered that they had gotten caught in the crossfire of a bigger issue.
They Were Caught in the Middle
The Entwistles had moved onto a property that Preece had personally declared that he was already on. In fact, the farmer was in a property border dispute with Persimmon Homes, the company that sold the couple their home. But did Preece have legal ground for doing what he did?
The Couple Was Part of This Tug-of-War
Preece considered the land the couple had moved onto to be his own, and whether they liked it or not, the Entwistles were now part of this tug-of-war between Persimmon Homes and the farmer. What were they going to do? Would they take the situation into their own hands?
They Had Spent Everything They Had on This House
The Entwistles had used every last penny they had to own this house, and they had chosen this property for the view itself. Now that view had been taken from them and there seemed to be very few options available to get them out of this jam, they weren't even sure that they wanted the house anymore.
They Considered Legal Action
The couple was upset and wanted to sue Preece for what he had done, but a property dispute case would potentially take way too long to resolve in court. And they feared that they would have an emotional breakdown before this situation was legally resolved.
They Didn’t Want to Make Enemies
Another reason they didn’t want to take things to court was the fact that even if they won, they would still be neighbors with this guy and they didn’t want to have any animosity towards anyone. But was it even possible to find a peaceful resolution with this farmer?
Rebekah Couldn’t Stop Crying
The uncertainty of the fence and what to do about it had left the couple highly depressed, but Entwistle’s new wife, Rebekah, was having an even tougher time. She bawled her eyes out whenever she caught sight of the fence. Eventually, she avoided the first floor and started doing everything upstairs.
Thomas Was Pretty Angry, Too
Entwistle didn’t like seeing his wife suffer and yet she was. So soon, his sadness over what the farmer had done had turned into resentment, and these negative emotions were ruining what should have been the best time of the young couples' lives. So, he finally decided that enough was enough and he reached out to a lawyer.
He Consulted a Lawyer
Entwistle went to a lawyer in Blackburn who agreed to help. But after looking into the property dispute between Persimmon Homes and David Preece, the lawyer informed Entwistle that there really wasn’t much he could do from a legal standpoint.
He Wanted to Tear the Fence Down
At this point, Entwistle was so upset that he considered tearing the fence down, but Preece had every legal right to erect another fence. To make matters worse, the farmer could make it worse and extend the fence all the way to the back of the property. So, Entwistle came up with a backup plan. But his wife wasn’t onboard.
Rebekah Bailed on Him
Entwistle’s wife was so upset, that she packed up all of her belongings and left for her parent’s house. This left him all alone to ponder whether he should leave and join her, too, or stay and fight this horrible injustice.
The Situation Tore Them Apart
Fighting this battle together was difficult enough, but his wife had just left him. He hoped that she would return to him once this was all resolved but he wasn’t sure how long that would be or if she would even wait for him that long.
He Thought About Selling the House
He considered selling the house, but something in his gut told him that this wasn’t right. There was no way that he could live with himself if he unloaded his burden on another home buyer and forced them to deal with this property dispute. So, for a while, all hope seemed loss, and then, something good happened for a change.
A Councilwoman Offered Him Hope
Entwistle was just about to give up when he met Sylvia Liddle, a local councilwoman. When he told her what had happened, she told him that it was “outrageous, unfair, unnecessary, and unjust.” But despite her encouragement, there was only one way to solve this issue and that required Persimmon Homes’ cooperation, but their reaction was less than stellar.
Persimmon Homes Was Uncooperative
Persimmon Homes, the developers who built the house, reassured Entwistle that they hadn’t built the property on the farmer’s land. But beyond that, they seemed unwilling to get involved further in the dispute. They did, however, tell him something that made him certain the fence wasn’t supposed to be there.
The Developers Promised to Remove the Fence
Persimmon Homes did state that the fence was in breach of planning regulations and was therefore illegal. Then, in a gesture of good faith, they told him that they would handle the removal of the fence. But they did nothing.
He Felt Completely Alone in His Fight
His wife had already moved out and the developers weren’t doing anything about the fence. At this point, Entwistle felt completely alone, but as it turns out, he wasn’t because there was someone still fighting for him...
The Councilwoman Kept Fighting for Action
Councilwoman Liddle had no intention of letting the farmer get away with what he was doing to the newlyweds. She continued to push the local authorities to step in and help the Entwistles, and eventually, her perseverance paid off.
Officials Arrived to Assess the Property
The councilwoman was able to arrange for Blackburn planning officials to head over to Entwistle’s property and begin surveying the house. But they didn’t go alone. Officials from the neighboring Darwen Council came too, and together, they began their assessment. But would they rule in the newlywed’s favor?
He Waited for the Surveyors to Complete Their Job
Entwistle waited impatiently as the inspectors did their job. He watched as they examined the fence, surveyed the land, and continued to discuss things with each other. Then, one of them walked up to the homeowner. But did they have good news for him?
Planning Officials Made Their Ruling
According to the planning officials, the fence was in the property owned by Persimmon Homes, which meant that it was in the Entwistle’s property. This made both Persimmon Homes and the newlyweds very happy, but was the fight really over for good?
The Battle Appeared to be Over
The newlyweds rejoiced at the news. It seemed like the property battle between them and David Preece was over. Naturally, they assumed that the wooden fence would get torn down right away, but it wasn’t up to the city or the couple to do the job.
The Fence Was Finally Taken Down
Now that the city officials had given them the all clear, Persimmon Homes was finally able to do what they had been hoping to do for a long time. “Our staff have taken down the fence after consultation with council planning officials,” said a spokesperson for the company.
The Councilwoman Was Overjoyed
“I’m delighted for this young couple who have been so distressed,” said Councilwoman Liddle, who was elated that the couple had finally won the battle against injustice. But the Entwistles were not 100% okay just yet.
He Was Excited That the Fence Came Down
The couple was happy that the fence was no longer obstructing their view from the first floor. Entwistle even said, “I can’t tell you how excited we are that the fence is down.” But he was well aware that things in life don’t always go as smoothly as they appear to.
The Fence Could Reappear
Entwistle and his wife weren’t ignorant. They knew that there was a very strong possibility that Preece could easily erect another fence to replace the one that had been taken down and this worried them.
They Lived in Terror
Preece felt that the land the Entwistle’s were on was his, so the couple realized that the owner of the Upper Mickle Hay Farm might not give up so easily. So, they lived in terror that Preece and the fence would one day resurface. They felt like they could never again leave their home for an extended period of time without the fence coming back in their absence.
The Story Went Viral
The dispute over the fence was insane, but also quite newsworthy, so eventually, various U.K. news networks picked up the story. Then, the story gained online traction and went viral. At that point, everyone had their own opinion of the situation.
Don’t Buy a House Near a Property Line
One individual had some sage advice for the couple. “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,” they wrote. But there were other opinions as well.
Get a Restraining Order
Another English commenter going by the name Foldy suggested another course of action. “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.”
Some Commenters Were Angry
One commenter was so angry at the farmer that they wrote, "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. How horrible and he doesn’t even know them!! Sad how mean people are to each other.”
Others Were Appalled, Too
"It’s an appalling shame that people simply can’t get along. Far too much of this sort of garbage is going on,” wrote another commenter. And the number of opinions kept on coming, including one that called out other farmers...
One Person Related to the Couple
One commenter had a spat with a farmer just like the Entwistles had, and decided to share their story. “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.” But they weren’t done.
He Thought Farmers Were Honorable
Although he knew initially thought that farmers were honorable people, he quickly changed his mind. “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.”
The Fence Was a Spiteful Act
Another commenter claimed that the erection of the fence was a spiteful act. “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.”
The Farmer Lacked Maturity
The commenter wrapped it 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.”
The Farmer Left Them Alone
Fortunately, there were no more incidents with Preece, the farmer, who accepted defeat and decided to finally back off. This allowed the couple to finally get back to their happy lives, but would Entwistle's wife come back to stay?
They Could Focus on Their Future
The Entwistles could finally see a bright future for themselves now that the fence was no longer obstructing their view. This meant they could focus on their careers together and perhaps create a future with kids playing around driving them crazy, instead!