A family is at war with developers after two lamp posts were installed in the middle of the front garden of their £400k home.

Steve Price, 41, has been at loggerheads with developers Crest Nicholson for three years and the dispute has now become a complex legal battle.

It started when the builders installed a new lamp post on the wrong side of the Price family's front door - who then demanded it be moved 5.6m to the left.

But while dealing with the error, Steve and his wife Louise, 40, discovered they had been short changed and their lawn was 90cm shorter than it should be.

Crest Nicholson offered the family £15,000 compensation for the lost land, and to buy a strip of land the council now needed for lamp post maintenance.

But when Steve raised concerns about how much of his lawn would be lost to paving around the post, he claims Crest Nicholson withdrew the cash offer.

Instead, the housing company said it had struck a deal with the council over the access strip.

And it said said builders would be back soon to take down the wrongly installed post and put up another one - on the other side of the lawn.

Thurrock Gazette:

Steve was furious he was still left uncompensated for his the 90cm missing part of lawn - and told Crest they were banned from his land.

But while he was at work, builders showed up and put up a new one anyway - just 4m from the other one.

In response, enraged Steve has now parked his car directly in front of both the posts to stop Crest removing the 'old' one and wiring in the 'new' one.

The two parties are now in a stand-off with Steve maintaining he will stand in the way of Crest Nicholson until they pay up the missing land.

That means the family - at least for now - are left stuck with two huge lamp posts in the middle of their front garden which measures just 7m by 4m.

Steve, who works in public services, said: “I’m fuming about it. The whole situation has caused us a huge amount of upset and stress.

“I’ve been petrified that they will just turn up at my house when I’m at work and dig up my front garden. This is not how you treat someone who has just bought an expensive house.

“We are in a stand-off with them now. They won’t pay us for the loss of land so I am trying to stop them from finishing the work until they pay.

“I have to car share and leave my car in front of the lamp post to stop them.

“We wouldn’t be in this position if they put the lamp post in the right place to begin with.

“They are a massive eyesore and none of the other residents are happy about having to look at two massive lamp posts right outside their windows.”

Thurrock Gazette:

Steve and his wife Louise, 40, who works in banking, spent £395,000 on the four-bed home in Maldon, in 2016.

The couple and their son Charlie, six, moved in October 2016, and a lamppost was installed two months later.

A Crest Nicholson spokesperson said: "Crest Nicholson has been in communication with Mr & Mrs Price regarding the location of a street lamp column in their front garden.

"After careful investigation, a solution has been found by placing the street lamp column on land that Crest Nicholson owns, outside of Mr and Mrs Price’s property.

"Subsequently the residents were notified of the planned works.

"When marking out the new street lamp, Crest Nicholson briefly crossed over into Mr and Mrs Price’s front garden.

"We apologise for any upset this might have caused and have previously written to the residents to express this.

"The new lamp post has now been installed and we await Mr and Mrs Price’s consent before removing the old post from their garden.”