AN ELDERLY woman has been scared to use her garden for the last year after her neighbour erected a fence with three-inch nails sticking into her property.
Eileen Adderley, 87, of Wilmot Road, Purley, has lived alone in the property for five years since her husband died, and used to enjoy spending time in the garden with her three-year-old great-granddaughter, Claudia.
But Stuart Longmire, her step-grandson, said the nails, which stuck out beside a path that runs along the side of the house, meant it was unsafe for Claudia to go into the garden in case she hurts herself.
Mr Longmire, from Warlingham, said: "We can't believe it. If it wasn't so dangerous it would be hilarious. It's a stressful situation to be dealing with."
House owner, Ijaz Shafi, who is currently developing the property, said he was unaware the nails were there and removed them on Wednesday after the Advertiser brought it to his attention.
"If they had left a note I could have done this straight away," he said. "I can't believe they haven't come to me sooner. It's not me to make life uncomfortable or to have bad relations with my neighbours."
Mr Longmire said he did not want to remove the nails as he does not want to "smash up someone else's fence".
He said the garden of the property on Higher Drive, adjacent to Wilmot Road, was developed a year ago. He also complained a shed has been positioned to act as a fence between the properties, and a raised area in the garden is only held in place with "thin concrete boards".
Mr Shafi said he did not know how the board or nails came to be there.
Mr Longmire's stepfather (and Mrs Adderley's son), Kevin Adderley, complained to the council about the work, prompting the developer to apply to the council for retrospective planning permission, which is still pending.
A council spokesman said the nails are not a planning matter and not an issue the council address.
He said: "Onsite unauthorised works are being investigated, these are ongoing and we will be in touch with Mr Longmire as soon as this has taken place."