Elderly Shortstown couple say bpha has let them down over parking space

Halifax Road Parking

An elderly couple say they have been left without a parking space at home after their housing association let them down.

Mr and Mrs Greco have lived on Halifax Road, Shortstown for over 16 years and have been parking their car on a driveway shared with the neighbouring home.

With the way the driveway was fenced off, they believed the driveway was within the boundary of the home they rent from bpha.

Late last year, however, their neighbour sold his home and the Grecos found out the driveway was actually on their neighbour’s land.

Mr and Mrs Greco asked BPHA to investigate the possibility of claiming ownership of the parking space under Adverse Possession.

Adverse Possession is a law that allows someone who has used land for at least 10 years to apply for ownership of that land.

Had they been successful, Mr and Mrs Greco’s land boundary would have changed meaning the driveway they’ve used for 16 years would be owned by BPHA as part of Mr and Mrs Greco’s home.

Speaking to the Bedford Independent, their son says BPHA have effectively ignored the needs of his parents: “Both my parents suffer from ill health which causes limited mobility.

“They need to park their car close to their front door and losing this parking space means they may have to park at the end of the road, which is just not suitable.”

The Grecos have been very clear that they have no issue with their new neighbours. “The new owners of the home have walked into an issue we believe bpha could have sorted out ages ago, even before the house was sold.” Added their son.

“Before the house was sold, we asked bpha about claiming ownership. But it took them so long to respond it was too late to do anything.

“We’ve now asked them about installing a driveway in front of my parent’s home and we’re being asked to jump through hoops to even get that sorted.

“They also can’t simply park on the road as it’s too narrow and it would block access for anyone else living here.

“bpha now seem to be ignoring our further complaints and have said we can’t even meet with them face to face to discuss the issue constructively as they can’t accommodate a meeting, even though they have an office on Manton Lane.

“My mum and dad are elderly and don’t need this stress. Their neighbours have all been very supportive but bpha, the housing association they’ve paid into for many years, don’t seem to care.”

In response, George Parkinson, Head of Housing Operations at bpha, said: “We believe we have given all reasonable advice and assistance in relation to accessing the land and following legal advice we will not be progressing this further.

“If Occupational Health assess Mr and Mrs Greco’s mobility needs and advise that adaptations are required, we may assist financially in accordance with our Aids and Adaptations policy and where the adaptations are made to bpha’s land.”

“We have confirmed to Mr and Mrs Greco that legally the driveway does belong to [their neighbour].

“We do empathise with their situation and various members of staff have been in communication with the family, however the new owner of the property has a right to reclaim their land as the Land Registry clearly shows the boundary lines.

“Attempts by bpha to negotiate a right of access with the buyer’s solicitor have proven to be unsuccessful and further attempts would require legal action and potential further costs.

“We have advised Mr and Mrs Greco to contact Occupational Health who can assess their mobility needs and advise if parking adaptations are required, and also the Council to request a disabled bay on the highway.”

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