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We’re prisoners in our homes after neighbour installed barbed wire gates and blocked us from driving out at night

RESIDENTS of a block of flats have told how they feel like prisoners in their own homes after a neighbour installed barbed wire gates.

Locals in Mill Lane in Wimborne, Dorset, claim they have been blocked from driving out of their homes at night after the barrier was installed on a footpath outside their block of flats.

Residents in Mill Lane say a neighbour has blocked them into their homes after erecting a barbed wire fence
Mike Burnside, 84, next to one of the gates with barbed wire on the top
A neighbour has put up private property signs
Locals say they feel like theyre living in a prison

It is owned by a private estate which has permitted right of way access to the path as a goodwill gesture for years allowing anyone to come and go.

But a row has erupted after private property signs were put up along with iron gates topped with barbed wire.

The gates are locked in the evenings, meaning residents in the flats in Millbank House cannot leave in their cars at night.

Now the local residents are submitting evidence of Mill Lane being used as a right of way for decades to a national planning inspector.

Mike Burnside, 84, resident of Millbank House: Its all been done by our neighbour who is the estate manager. He has obstructed our access in and out of our little estate.

He has put barbed wire on top of some of the gates to stop people coming in and out. Its like a prison.

Those of us that arent very mobile cant get out on an evening unless he wants us to.

Its disgraceful what he has done.

If we want to get to the nearby car park, which happens a lot because there arent many spaces here, we have to walk all the way around the streets rather than using the 30 second cut through outside his shop.

We never know when he is going to have the gates open or shut.

He uses our fire door for quick access sometimes and we dont make a fuss about it.

Its like living in a prison block.

We had a secret meeting to organise how we stop more of these gates going up.

Locals recently held a meeting to discuss how to fight the decision and as a result they received threatening letters from the manager of Mill Lane Precinct which accused them of making malicious falsehoods.

Suzanne Sherlock, 77, owner of one of the flats at Milllbank House, said: Im one of the directors of Millbank house. We were contacted by Dorset Council that they were drafting a map of rights of way for the road.

We had a meeting of the residents and the person whose lane the right of way crosses took exception to us having a meeting and sent us all a quite rude letter about Malicious Falsehoods.

We couldnt decipher the signature but we know who it is.

People have always been able to go through these streets whenever they have wanted.

One of the rights of way down to the river has been completely gated off with big metal gates that he locks.

We are hoping that the national planning inspector puts a stop to it.

It comes after Dorset Council planners rejected an application by residents to have the right of way made official.

A spokesman for Mill Lane Precinct Estate said there has been some misleading information circling the internet as a result of the new modification order.

They added: Some people are using this order for their own personal objectives, to take control, not a justified reason to try and make land a public right of way.

This includes false claims that rights of way exist over Private Land in Mill Lane and that, by implication, Mill Lane has been managed in an illegal and/or improper way.

To date, no public right of way has been legally identified or created by an Order, so legally there are no public rights of way on private land in Mill Lane.

The land identified by the order in Mill Lane is private land, historically managed in accordance with advice from solicitors, insurers, surveyors and the police.

The estate has allowed permissive access through Mill Lane as a gesture of goodwill and in support of businesses and the public, access is not under threat.

The Sun have contacted Dorset Council for comment.

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