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Pensioner who drilled holes in neighbour’s garden wall REFUSES to stop campaign until it is rebuilt

A retiree drilled holes in his neighbor’s garden wall, claiming it encroached on his land by two inches, and posted signs accusing the family of thieves.

Despite being fined £90 for damaging the wall with a drill, Ewen Taylor refuses to stop his campaign until the wall is replaced at the same ‘height, depth and width as before’.

The 87-year-old has accused his neighbors of “illegal construction work” and says they will have to sue him if they want him to remove his plates.

The family, who built the extension to create more dining space, say the queue has “embarrassed their children to go out.”

For several months, Mr Taylor, from Cardiff, has been putting up wooden placards in front of his house near Grangetown.

The 87-year-old’s messages include: ‘You and your cowboy builder are thieves’ [sic]† ‘Other municipalities get illegally’ [sic] construction work’; ‘Will they charge me?’; and ‘If I don’t like my plates, tell the municipality about it’.

The display shows the house number of the next of kin, who said: ‘It has to stop.’

Taylor, a retired bricklayer who has lived in his home for some 50 years, said his anger was sparked in 2020 when the family built an extension in their backyard.

Ewen Taylor, 87, claims his neighbors in Cardiff rebuilt a two-inch garden wall on his land, and he has since launched a campaign to have the wall demolished

Ewen Taylor, 87, claims his neighbors in Cardiff rebuilt a two-inch garden wall on his land, and he has since launched a campaign to have the wall demolished

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Pictured: Retired Ewen Taylor drilled holes in his neighbor’s garden wall and put up signs complaining that their new addition is an inch or so into his yard

One of the signs Mr Taylor put up and the holes he drilled that have since been covered?

One of the signs Mr Taylor put up and the holes he drilled that have since been covered?

He claims that the family removed the garden wall they previously shared and replaced it with a new one, which he believes sticks into his own yard.

“It’s a matter of two inches, but it’s my property,” he said. “Even if it was an inch, I’d object.”

The neighbors – a married couple with four children aged eight to 20 – deny any infringement.

The mother, 42, said: ‘I have no idea why he thinks it is in his possession. It’s disturbing, especially for my kids. They are ashamed to go outside when people ask questions about the signs.

“This was very stressful for us and very disturbing. We didn’t want to upset anyone.

“I wish it was all over.”

The family expansion has moved their bathroom back to create more dining space.

Builders tore down the old garden wall — which Mr Taylor described as “a random rubble wall with a rooster and chicken finish” — and built a concrete replacement.

‘Since we moved here 20 years ago’ [Mr Taylor] hasn’t spoken to us,’ said the woman. “We didn’t argue or anything. This is the first time there has been a confrontation.

Mr Taylor says the matter should be dealt with by the council, who have said it is a civil matter

Mr Taylor says the matter should be dealt with by the council, who have said it is a civil matter

Family living next door say they are ashamed of the collection of characters Mr Taylor uses

Family living next door say they are ashamed of the collection of characters Mr Taylor uses

Mr Taylor will not remove his plates until the wall is 'the same height, depth and width as before'

Mr Taylor will not remove his plates until the wall is ‘the same height, depth and width as before’

Cardiff Council say no planning application is required for extensions of six meters and this was within six metres. When the work was done [Mr Taylor] pierced through.’

Mr Taylor admits that he used a drill and hammer to make holes in the wall over a period of about five months. He also peeled off a strip of stucco from the extension. Four circles in the garden wall indicate where the family taped up damage.

“He often did it in the morning when we were out,” the mother continued.

“Once we got in, he started doing it and we asked why. He said, ‘It is in my possession.’

Mr Taylor accused neighbors of being 'thieves' for what he believes is a two-inch offence

Mr Taylor accused neighbors of being ‘thieves’ for what he believes is a two-inch offence

Pictured: Mr Taylor has a collection of signs accusing his neighbors of illegal construction work

Pictured: Mr Taylor has a collection of signs accusing his neighbors of illegal construction work

Pictured: 87-year-old Ewen Taylor's garage holds more signs about the dispute

Pictured: 87-year-old Ewen Taylor’s garage holds more signs about the dispute

“It was intimidating for my kids.”

Mr Taylor said he had lived in the house for about 55 years after buying it with his wife Margaret for just £2,300.

In response, Mr Taylor said: ‘I don’t understand how intimidating it was. Hammering and drilling has been going on next door for years. And that is acceptable.

“If they want to put up new cabinets, they can put up new cabinets. My wife used to hear it and say, “They bought another box of nails.”

“She passed away quite a few years ago.”

Police handed Mr Taylor a fine of £90 for criminal damage last September.

The woman said, “The police took his drill. Then he started with the plates. We called the police two weeks ago and they said there is nothing they can do as it is in his private property.

“They said it’s a protest sign even though it has our house number on it and it calls us thieves. How can that not be offensive?’

Damage caused by Mr Taylor who was fined £90 after being charged with criminal damage

Damage caused by Mr Taylor who was fined £90 after being charged with criminal damage

Mr Taylor has plastered the front of his house with signs accusing his neighbors of theft

Mr Taylor has plastered the front of his house with signs accusing his neighbors of theft

Ewen Taylor claims his ruler shows a few centimeters of damage

Ewen Taylor claims his ruler shows a few centimeters of damage

The retiree felt he had “no choice” but to drill holes after the council refused to intervene.

A council official wrote to Mr Taylor that the extension did not require planning permission and that border disputes are a civil matter and not for the council.

Taylor said he launched his protest because he cannot afford civil action. “I protest that they have encroached on my property to expand their property and devalue my property. I am a victim and I am being punished?’

When asked if he tried to talk to his neighbors about his concerns, he said, “Oh no. How do you talk to someone and tell them that what they’ve done is illegal?

‘As far as I’m concerned, it’s a matter for the municipality.

“I keep sending them letters and I’ve sent them pictures and videos for the past two years, but haven’t heard anything.

‘The council is a law in itself. If you want something done, you have to do it yourself. I don’t have the money to pay a lawyer, but the council should do it.”

When Mr. Taylor heard that the family felt harassed by the signs, he said, “My signs are the truth. Law a few days ago [police] were here.

“They told me that the signs aren’t very pretty and that other people object to them. But I wasn’t asked to take them down because they don’t have the power. It’s on my property.’

Mr Taylor said he wants the rear wall replaced at the same depth, width and height

Mr Taylor said he wants the rear wall replaced at the same depth, width and height

The family said the police had advised them to start civil proceedings over the display, but they have decided not to do so to avoid legal costs.

The grandfather of four children said, ‘Why don’t they charge me? Because they know they are wrong.

‘I won’t remove my plates until the boundary wall has been replaced at the same height, depth and width as before.’

A spokesman for the council said it was a civil matter between the two parties, adding: “We could only get involved if the signs were on the highway, obstructed or posted without permission, so basically flyposting.” , which is a violation. under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.”

South Wales Police have been contacted for comment.

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