By Kris Jepson
Middlesbrough Council has told ITV News Tyne Tees it will pay 85-year-old Clifford Kitching full legal costs of £8,682, after the pensioner successfully took court action earlier this week, to maintain access to his bin collection route.
The Nunthorpe grandad took the council to court, because it wanted him to walk an extra 200 yards through a path at the rear of his property on bin collection days, in order to proceed with the sale of neighbouring land to developers.
It would have involved Mr Kitching dodging trees, fences and washing lines just to put his bin out.
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Mr Kitching's two year battle to maintain access to the old Blacksmith's Yard next door to his house, has taken it's toll on his health. The pensioner collapsed during the one-day land tribunal in Leeds.
Helen Garrad, Mr Kitching's daughter, said the property has been in the family since 1926, so it was important for her father to continue his legal fight for bin access to the neighbouring yard.
Middlesbrough Council said they offered Mr Kitching personal access to the yard for his "lifetime only".
The council explained the Blacksmith's Yard was marked as "surplus to council requirements" in 2012 and a development scheme was subsequently drawn up to recognise the Conservation Area status of Nunthorpe Village with extensive public consultations carried out in 2014.
The Blacksmith’s Yard was then advertised for sale with bids closing in October 2015. Five bids were received and a prospective purchaser approved before the claim to the Land Registry was submitted in early 2016.