A Grandad who challenged Middlesbrough Council in court – and won – says he is “elated but exhausted” by the two-year long ordeal.
Cliff Kitching, 85, vowed to fight council plans to block off a centuries-old access to his Nunthorpe garden and protect his weekly wheelie bin route.
Instead of a two-minute bin route, Cliff would have been forced to push his bin 200 yards, dodging trees, fences and washing lines if plans to convert Old Blacksmith’s Yard, next door to his house, had succeeded.
In a modern-day tale of David and Goliath, Cliff triumphantly beat the authority with a tribunal judge ruling that the right of way must be protected.
Landowner Middlesbrough Council had hoped to sell the site next to Cliff’s home to a housing developer, which would shut off an access through the courtyard used by the pensioner and his forbears since Victorian times.
Cliff vowed to continue his fight against the plans despite collapsing at a one-day land tribunal in Leeds and racking up a £9,000 legal bill.
But he said the two-year long wait for a resolution is now over.
Cliff hopes to recover costs but that has yet to be decided, he says.
As for the plans to develop Blacksmith’s Yard, Cliff said Middlesbrough Council “can do what they like” with the site as long as the bin route access is protected.