Millionaire builds 11ft hay fortress to block next door neighbours view

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A Norfolk family were left furious after their neighbour erected hay bales, standing at 11ft, blocking the view they loved.

John Turner, 50, and his mum Maxine, 78, are now at war with neighbour Stephen Bett, 68, a former Police and Crime Commissioner who built the immense hay wall.

Maxine suffers from a number of life-altering conditions including MS and macular degeneration, meaning she may soon lose her vision altogether.

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Her main joy has been looking out over the fields where she has lived for 40 years – but she has been robbed of this pleasure by the colossal hay statue.

Mr Turner said: "I want my mother with what sight she's got to see the horses running around. She's pretty much housebound.

"She's losing her vision and has M.S, she can't leave the house really, she loses too much energy.

"She tends to look out the window to see the horses go past and now all she can see is those bales of hay."

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A vandal recently cut down nearly 100 trees Mr Bett had planted four years prior, making the ex-police chief suspicious of Mr Turner – although John claims if he wanted to cut down the conifers, he would have done it "years ago".

Mr Bett, who has lived in the Thornham house for two decades, vengefully stacked hay bales on top of each other to create a hay monster that stood at 11ft tall and blocked Mr Turner's beloved view.

Police were called on July 13 to the dispute after John lost his temper and shoved the bales, but they determined that this was not a crime.

Mr Bett, who left the police force in 2016, rebuilt the hay bales which are still stacked, but now don't stand quite as tall.

And this isn't a usual petty neighbour fight as this view has particular sentimental value – John said the view brought a lot of joy to his late dad, Frank, during his final years.

Frank tragically died of Covid at the start of 2021, at the age of 89, and his parting wish was that John would take care of Maxine.

John says fighting for Maxine's right to enjoy her view is part of this dying wish.

John said: "My dad was stuck in a chair and loved that view, that and the snooker."

He added: "The police were called because I pushed over one of the hay bales. I did this because my mum was upset. I promised my dad that I'd look after my mother… When she's upset I'm upset.

"Within a year her sight has deteriorated, all I wanted was for her to have something to look at before it completely goes."

The Daily Star has reached out to Norfolk Police and Mr Bett for comment.


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