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Great-gran in shared drive dispute

PUBLISHED: 13:46 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:19 07 July 2010

She has lived in Dereham for more than six decades and her late husband was a well respected former town clerk.

But now 85-year-old great-grandmother Teddy O'Donnell says her life is being made a misery following a dispute with her neighbours over their shared driveway.

She has lived in Dereham for more than six decades and her late husband was a well respected former town clerk.

But now 85-year-old great-grandmother Teddy O'Donnell says her life is being made a misery following a dispute with her neighbours over their shared driveway.

Mrs O'Donnell has lived at her current home in Quebec Road for more than 20 years and three years ago her son Conal O'Donnell sold a bungalow close to his mother's home to the Weal family.

Mrs O'Donnell, who has survived two major operations for bowel cancer, said from the beginning her family tried to be good neighbours to the Weals, and that this included helping them when they had problems installing a telephone line, and paying a premium to get an old cedar tree swiftly removed from blocking the shared driveway after it blew over during a storm.

But she said problems started when the Weals padlocked and blocked her access gate from her garden on to their shared driveway about two years ago.

Since then she said the couple have installed another gate on the shared driveway without her permission and also put up their house sign on Mrs O'Donnell's side of the shared driveway.

Now Mrs O'Donnell, a retired teacher, has been served with county court papers from David and Linda Weal demanding that she pays £2,556.70 plus interest and costs to improve the shared driveway and pay for part of the upkeep of the gate installed by the Weals.

“I am infuriated that these two are making my life a misery,” said Mrs O'Donnell, whose late husband Conal was the last surveyor of the former Dereham urban district council and a former town clerk.

“I cannot drive a car because I am partially sighted so I never drive up the shared drive.

“I am on a pension and I cannot afford to spend £2,500 on a drive which I never use. But I will maintain the right of way that I am entitled to.

“My life has been blighted by all this. I should not have to be lying awake at night worrying about what is going to happen next, living in fear of what is going to happen next.”

When the Times contacted Mr and Mrs Weal they declined to comment.

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