Land battle continues for sisters

The sisters with a paper representation of the land that has stopped their extension.
The sisters with a paper representation of the land that has stopped their extension.

TWO sisters – who won compensation from Barnsley Council in a row over a 1.7-FOOT-long strip of land – claim the authority is STILL blocking their efforts to end the bizarre wrangle.

In July 2009, the council halted work on the extension, and charged the sisters thousands of pounds for the tiny triangle.

They were left with a half-finished extension, no cooker, a freezing home and rising bills.

Then in March this year the council was forced by the Ombudsman to back-track. It agreed to pay the Jacques’ £1,500 compensation for their hassle...

But three months on, the sisters say they STILL cannot complete their extension at Rose Grove, Wombwell.

To their disbelief, the council has now advertised the strip as a land SALE – which Bev said she only found out about from a neighbour.

She fumed: “I am really annoyed with the way things are going... or not going”.

She had since been informed that advertising the land sale – that the Ombudsman said should be transferred ‘at no cost’ to the sisters – was only a “formality”.

She added: “In March, when we felt we had won our case, our friends were saying ‘oh, you should have it done for Christmas’.

“I laughed and said that I hoped it would be done long before then! Here we are in June – and still no end in sight.

“The process is still being referred to as a ‘proposal’ – it’s just not good enough.”

The Ombudsman further ordered the council to assess and pay for repairs to return the extension to the state it was in when work was first halted. But Bev claimed this had also dragged on.

A council spokesman said: “The value of the land and heads of terms have already been agreed; the transfer of land will be at market value, in accordance with section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972. “As the land to be transferred is part of a larger area used for public open space, the council is legally required to advertise it”.