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Retired psychiatrist's bush dispute with parish council
A dispute has broken out between a retired psychiatrist in Chipperfield and parish councillors over the location of some bushes.
The chairman of Chipperfield Parish Council, Harry Laverack, described resident David Charman as "abrupt" and "arrogant" when responding to concerns that the shrubbery had encroached on The Common at his Little Winch property.
Mr Charman, 62, has said the bushes are on his land and that he is "only managing his boundary".
The dispute centres around whether the bushes planted by Mr Charman were on the boundary of his property or public land.
Chipperfield Parish Council claim the bushes are encroaching on eight metres of public land but this claim was rejected by the former psychiatrist.
Dacorum Borough Council owns The Common in Chipperfield.
Councillor Harry Laverack, chairman of Chipperfield Parish Council said: "We are very confident that where the council surveyor identified the boundary, is where the boundary is and always has been.
"Once the boundary has been determined where we believe it to be, it is very clear that he has done damage to the woodland area."
In December 2013, Virtual Lawyers Limited - the solicitors representing David Charman, wrote a letter to Dacorum Borough Council outlining their opposition to the measurements taken by Dacorum Borough Council and Chipperfield Parish Council.
Dacorum Borough Council have taken their measurements using an ordnance survey map and this is being used as a "definitive map" but Dr Charman has rejected this as the "definitive map" and has been referring to the Land Registry document.
A "definitive boundary" was set to be established in December with "driven posts", but this proposal was cancelled after Virtual Lawyers wrote to Dacorum Borough Council and said: "We do not see that that the tendentious, indeed provocative, act of placing stakes in what our client regards as his land will assist matters, and we ask for your undertaking that you will attempt no such thing."
Dr David Charman believes he is maintaining the boundary on his land and not causing any damage to public land.
He said: "I’m very very knowledge about what is going on, so I want to manage my boundary in a respectful manner.
"They have been asked to prove that it is not my land and they can’t. Their only argument is that the Land Registry document is incorrect and the house is in the wrong position.
"I can’t understand why they are wasting so much time and money on what could be one or two metres of land."
One Chipperfield resident, who asked not to be named, told the Watford Observer: "They have extended the boundary of their property and they have cut down trees and planted more bushes on The Common.
"People want to protect The Common and it is wrong that someone should take advantage like that."
Councillor Laverack said that to resolve the dispute, the boundary would have to be determined and he believes that the best way of doing that is by using an independent surveyor.
"We will draw up a list of three independent surveyors and then he can choose which one will survey it. But we will all have to stick by what the surveyor decides."
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