Only Fools and Horses star John Challis has won his battle to stop a children’s home overlooking his posh property – by forcing them to erect a 12ft hedge to stop youngsters peeking into his windows.
John, 69 — who played snobbish Boycie in the TV comedy and spin-off The Green Green Grass — originally called for the home to close after two teenage tearaways broke into his mansion and pinched a bottle of whisky.
He was on holiday in Hawaii with wife Carol, 63, when the lads raided his £750,000 Grade I listed property in February this year.
Mill House Care Home houses just three troubled teenagers, but police say the residents’ have clocked up 19 crimes locally in the first six months of the year.
Mr Challis, whose Wigmore Abbey mansion is just 60 yards away from the home, told a public meeting last month it was in the “wrong place” and called for it to be moved from the picturesque village of Adforton, Herefordshire.
Keys Childcare, the company which runs the home, agreed to erect a large hedge around the property in order to stop youngsters looking into the Challis’ home.
Carol Walker, spokeswoman for Keys Childcare, said: “An agreement was made to plant a hedge around the boundary of the fence subject to agreement with the landlord.
“It has been agreed as an interim arrangement that Keys can continue to operate the home until the lease expires in 18 months time when the arrangements will be further reviewed.”
Managers at the home also promised to meet Adforton Parish Council every two months to iron out any problems or concerns arising from Mill House Care Home.
Cllr John Miles, chairman of the parish council, said: “At least Keys is aware there has been a lot of trouble which has caused upset to a lot of people.
“It has cost the police a lot of money.”
West Mercia Police revealed the home had cost them over £200,000 in the last seven years.
Between January and June this year, 19 of the 26 crimes in Adforton concerned the care home – including nine calls about missing children which cost the force £22,500.
At the heated meeting, Mr Challis said: “To be told by the company [Keys Childcare], after this latest incident when two of the boys got out and broke into the house on two separate occasions, that the home did not feel their staff had been negligent, I find unbelievable.
“They had broken in and stolen some malt whisky.
“The strength of feeling is very strong. We have been going through this for 10 years.
“The community have had enough, this was the last straw.
“I understand the need to look after unfortunate young people. It is a very difficult job but this is totally in the wrong place.”
Friends of the couple yesterday said: “The children’s home have agreed to erect a hedge which is part grown so at least the young people inside won’t be able to ogle John and Carol but how long does a hedge take to grow to full height?
“It is understood the suggestion is to let the hedge grow to 12ft in height but it’s not most satisfactory outcome.”