STUNNED residents are locked in a dispute after the owner of a petrol station near their homes put up concrete barriers which they claim is stopping them using their land.
Outraged homeowners in Mill Cottages, Featherstone, say the owner of the BP petrol station on Wakefield Road put four cement blockades between their land and the garage to stop them crossing his forecourt.
But they say the only point of access to their land is by driving across the garage property owned by Yasin Patel.
Resident David Sharpe, 39, said: “I came home from work one day and my car was blocked in. It was an absolute shock. I’ve been here 12 years and we have always had an understanding.
“All of a sudden the owner has got a bee in his bonnet and says we can’t park here. It’s just beyond a joke, we’ve always had access.
“On the deeds it shows this is our land. We now can’t get in and out. I’ve spoken to the garage owner on the phone but he hasn’t said why he’s done it.
“What he’s trying to gain, I don’t know, apart from upsetting the neighbours who have worked with him for years.”
Mr Sharpe said residents had a “gentleman’s’ agreement” with Mr Patel’s father, who ran the business until four years ago.
He said the petrol station and the residents previously worked together to share access with the MOT garage which is between the two sites.
Stephen Braker, 54, who has lived at Mill Cottages for 18 years, said: “As the longest standing resident here it’s been really upsetting. Obviously, I’m angry and disappointed. The barriers are stopping me using a right of way I have been using for 18 years.
“It’s really very unneighbourly. Why he’s doing it I don’t know, I just don’t understand him. It seems a bit ridiculous.”
Mr Patel told the Express residents had only started parking there recently and he had asked them to stop before putting up the barriers.
He said: “The homeowners are using our property to go onto their property. We have told them not to do it.
“They’re restricting our business because our customers can’t park their cars. They can’t use our property to go onto their land so we had to put a stop to it.
“If you check the deeds, you’ll see they’re trying to force a right of way.”
A Wakefield Council spokeswoman said as the disupted area was private land the authority had no sway in the matter.
Some of the residents said they had chosen to seek legal advice.