Couple ‘shot at’ after building fence on footpath to stop people eating chips on their wall

·3-min read
A fed-up homeowner resorted to erecting a fence outside his home to stop customers eating their fish and chips outside his front door (swns)
A fed-up homeowner resorted to erecting a fence outside his home to stop customers eating their fish and chips outside his front door (swns)

A couple who built a fence on a footpath outside their home to stop people from eating fish and chips on their wall have claimed they were shot at.

Stephen Williams, 45, put up the 4ft-high picket fence to block off a path and a layby used by customers going into the chip shop next door in Alnwick, Northumberland.

He used to run a sweet shop next to Victoria House Fish and Chips but was forced to close in 2019 and has now transformed the building into his home.

Customers have reacted angrily to the fence and Williams now claims a man fired an airgun at his 50-year-old wife Christine.

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Customers are furious, branding Williams 'petty' for erecting the fence (swns)
Customers are furious, branding Williams 'petty' for erecting the fence (swns)

Armed police arrested a 34-year-old man in connection with the incident.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "Shortly before 6.50pm yesterday police received a report of concern for safety following a disturbance on Victoria Crescent in Alnwick.

"It was reported that two parties had been involved in a dispute, during which an air weapon had been discharged at a wall.

"No one was injured but as a precaution, officers from the Force’s Firearm’s Support Unit (FSU) attended the scene.

"A man, aged 34, was arrested and remains in custody at this time, helping with enquiries."

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One customer said 'The chip shop has been there for years, whoever bought the house next door must have known that' (swns)
One customer said 'The chip shop has been there for years, whoever bought the house next door must have known that' (swns)

Williams built the fence along the original boundary line of his £300,000 semi-detached property, which extends 2ft onto the layby.

But it was reported council workers had already pulled it down as the dispute continued.

Council chiefs are now investigating if Williams' fence is legal.

Cllr Gordon Castle, Alnwick ward member for Northumberland County Council, said: “I’ve raised this with officers at County Hall to the highest level.

"He [Williams] claims to have deeds showing ownership of where his fence now sits. I can hardly believe he has gone ahead with this before any resolution with county highways, especially given the impact on pedestrians and children walking to school."

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Williams defended the fence, saying he wanted "privacy" now that the shop had been turned into a house.

He said: "We've had people eating their chips on our windowsill and looking through the window while we are trying to relax. It's not on.

"We just want some privacy. The land is rightfully ours. We checked with the plans and we are legally entitled to put a fence up."

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