Pensioner, 78, hits back at neighbour after row over 'messy' bungalow, blaming Covid and health problems

A PENSIONER has hit back at his neighbour after they had a row over his “messy” bungalow.

Peter Chidgey, 69, yesterday slammed the owner of the semi-detached bungalow in Tiverton, Devon – but Derek Harris, 78 says that health problems stopped him from tending to it.

Former service engineer Chidgey has lived at the property with his wife for 34 years and claims that his home has been taken over by overgrown bushes and shrubs in the garden. 

Now Retired local government worker Mr Harris has accepted the blame for the property’s state.

He told MailOnline: “I am to blame for that. It will be sorted out. It is just a matter of time. The circumstances with the virus over the last couple of years have been very difficult. 

“I am not in the best of health and I am nearly 80. With the virus flying around, you don't take too many chances as I have had various health problems.”

He added: “It is my intention to sell the property and it always has been. It has been very difficult to try and sort it out. There was a possibility of it going through auction.

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“I was going to sell it through auction, but they gave me a fortnight to do the work which I couldn't possibly do at the time because of the virus. 

“I have two cancer scares, high blood pressure and cholesterol. When you get to my age and with the Covid virus out there, you don't take too many chances.”

Yesterday Mr Chidgey sensationally claimed he’d prefer to live next to squatters – who would “look after it”. 

But Mr Harris has said that it fell into its current state because he was forced to leave his home.

He said: “I had to move out because I had to look after my aged mother. She has since passed away, but I would visit the property every fortnight to check everything over for a number of years whilst my mother was ill and after that.

“This will be sorted out, but with the lockdown it has been 'You shouldn't do this and you shouldn't do that' but with my age and health concerns, I just haven't got around to do that.”

It comes after Mr Chidgey yesterday said: “I don't know why he hasn't just sold up. He last visited around two years ago. I offered to do maintenance for him but he didn't want to know.

“There are holes in its roof – it especially affects me when I'm in my back garden.

“Neighbours here too are also getting fed up. The council put an enforcement notice in to the owner around three years ago asking them to get it up to standard and they haven't done a thing.

“It's very frustrating to see. I don't know what to do next.”

Peter believes the property has been good for 'blackberries and birdsong' however he called on local authorities for urgent action to tidy the bungalow up. 

A Mid Devon District Council spokesman said: “Our enforcement team dealt with a complaint at Anstey Crescent, Tiverton in 2014 previously advising that there was nothing untoward with the site in question and that its condition did not warrant a S215 (not being judged as harmful to the area).

“The team have received no further complaints since then. For further information and to report an alleged breach, please visit our website.”

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