Neighbours in Pinner are fuming after being ordered to pay £300 a year to access to their own garages.

Residents in West End Lane have to cross over a small piece of land owned by Harrow Council to get to their garages at the bottom of their gardens.

But the annual access charge for driving over this miniscule strip has gone up from £75 to £300 - a 400 per cent increase.

Terry Lilley, 70, who owns one of the seven garages, is outraged by the huge rise and hopes people elsewhere in the borough will campaign against the charge.

He said: "This piece of land is part of an access road that has been paid for by the residents.

"It is small, not large enough to park one car, and is useless for any other purpose other than access to our garages. The legal agreement that residents have with the council was drawn up 50 years ago and gives it a licence to impose this unfair tax.

"The agreement should be renegotiated to reflect the value of the land and allow residents the right to buy."

In February, the council asked residents to agree to the £300 charge and explained the tax had gone up because the fee had not been reviewed since 1990.

But despite public outrage neighbours received a notice from the

Council Estates Surveyor stating they will have to pay the charge of lose their right to access their garages.

Mr Lilley said: "I believe there must be hundreds of Harrow residents in a similar legal bind and would like to hear from people who would be prepared to support a borough-wide campaign against this unfair imposition of an access tax."

A spokeswoman from Harrow Council said: "Right of way to the rear garages in question not only gives homeowners convenient access, but also increases the value of their property.

"The fee of £75 per annum for this right has not been reviewed since 1990, therefore, in light of inflation and increased property prices, Harrow Council has revised this fee accord-ingly.

"The proposed fee is in line with that agreed elsewhere in the borough such as North Harrow, Harrow Weald and Stanmore." 

* If you have been affected by an access charge increase call Terry Lilley on 020 8866 0425 or email