A star of reality TV show Storage Hunters has been accused of holding a village community to ransom after secretly buying up small parcels of land and now trying to charge them £30,000 each to use their own parking spaces.
Daniel Hill – a businessman who spent just £18,000 to acquire the contested plots – is demanding residents of Haslingfield, Cambridgeshire, pay him £576 a week each in perpetuity for the right to park outside their own homes, spaces which they had previously been using for free for decades.
Hill, 41, is understood to have also demanded £200,000 ‘compensation’ from an elderly couple to forfeit his right to develop on a small green space where they have lovingly grown and maintained a picturesque hedge and ancient willow tree since the 1970s.
The self-styled businessman, from Norfolk, appeared in the show in which experts sell the contents of abandoned storage units to the highest bidders, who in turn hope to discover lost treasures.
He gained a small following from the Dave network show with his catchphrase; ‘I’ll have some of that!’.
Known as Dapper Dan, Hill, appeared in all five series of the show, as a ‘main buyer’.
The show ran from 2014 until 2016 and was broadcast on the Dave digital channel.
Daniel Hill (pictured in red) has been accused of holding a village community to ransom after secretly buying up small parcels of land and now trying to charge them £30,000 each to use their own parking spaces
Earlier this year, Mr Hill acquired unused plots of land on the Badcock Road housing estate in Haslingfield at an auction of the assets of the original developer who had gone into liquidation
He has now claimed that he not only owns the two plots of land, but a sliver of land inside a garden and the rights to who uses the public road
Hill is pictured with his wife Louise from a previous interview back in 2015 when he boasted to have paid £100,000 for IVF treatment to conceive his twins
But after the show closed Hill was convicted in 2018 of running an illegal dump on green-belt land in Surrey. He was fined £2,500 and order to pay a further £26,814.75 in a confiscation order.
Earlier this year he acquired unused plots of land on the Badcock Road housing estate in Haslingfield at an auction of the assets of the original developer who had gone into liquidation. Residents were unaware the sale was even happening.
Now Hill, who also worked as the ‘stand-in’ for Sacha Baron Cohen in the hit West End musical Les Miserables, has claimed that he not only owns the two plots of land, but a sliver of land inside a garden and the rights to who uses the public road.
The peace was first shattered early one Monday morning last month when he arrived in Badcock Road, Haslingfield, with a chainsaw and began cutting down a silver birch on the estate’s designated ‘tree-planting area’.
Hill claims he was simply ‘clearing the land’ in the pretty village near Grantchester just outside Cambridge.
He later spray painted yellow lines on the street indicating land which he claims he owns and will charge residents to park.
Chartered Accountant Jonathan Wheeler explained: ‘The original developer MJ Shanley Ltd went bust and their assets were sold at auction. This included these plots of land in Badcock Road.
‘Hill bought them for about £18,000, including fees.
‘He told us that he wants to build houses on them. But these plots of land don’t have planning permission and they are unlikely to get it.
‘So the residents got together and we made a fair offer to buy the land from him. We offered him £40,000.
‘But he refused our offer. He said the plots of land were worth hundreds of thousands of pounds and that he had the right to charge us £30,000-a-year each to park our cars in the street.
‘It’s completely outrageous.
‘He says it’s not about the money. But he is trying to hold us to ransom. So the residents have got together and we are going to fight back.’
Hill spray painted yellow lines on the street indicating land which he claims he owns and will charge residents to park
This image shows a resident allegedly locked out of own side entrance by Daniel Hill
One Monday morning last month Mr Hill arrived in Badcock Road, Haslingfield, with a chainsaw and began cutting down a silver birch on the estate’s designated ‘tree-planting area’
Trees damaged overnight so that Tree Preservation orders can not be obtained and the trees can be felled
He later spray painted yellow lines on the street indicating land which he claims he owns and will charge residents to park
Areas of the Public Highway are marked in yellow, then sprayed over by Cambridge Highways
Daniel Hill (pictured in red) acquired unused plots of land on the Badcock Road housing estate in Haslingfield at an auction
Chartered Accountant Jonathan Wheeler (left) said Mr Hil’s behaviour was ‘outrageous’
Haslingfield is a small village just six-and-a-half miles away from Cambridge
Aerial Views of Badcock Road where neighbours are at war over parking
Land property deeds have also revealed that Hill now owns a small sliver of land inside the garden of Steve Dawson
Hill and his wife Louise (pictured) had a £120k dream wedding after meeting at a charity fashion show. They bought the same pram as Kim Kardashian and designer outfits for their kids
The second unused plot of land was incorporated into the garden of an elderly couple decades ago.
But last week Hill locked their garden gate with a padlock and marked off his ‘property’ with yellow paint and ear-marked the mature willow tree for felling.
He erected a sign, threatening the homeowners with criminal prosecution if they went into their own garden.
However, Hill was then arrested by Cambridgeshire Police on suspicion of criminal damage and breaching the peace, when residents complained about his heavy-handed tactics. He was later released without charge.
The elderly couple have been left shocked and dismayed by the events and declined to comment, when contacted by MailOnline.
Land property deeds have also revealed that Hill now owns a small sliver of land inside the garden of Steve Dawson.
But the businessman is refusing Hill’s demand for compensation.
Businessman Steve Dawson told MailOnline: ‘I’m not going to give in to ransom. He can have this strip of land if he wants. I’ll just move the fence.’
Maintenance contractor Paul Munro explained: ‘We first became aware of Mr Hill one Monday morning last month. He had turned up with a chain saw and started cutting down the tree.
‘But he has no right to do that. This is a designated tree planting area.
‘This is also where the children play.
‘He is totally out of order.’
Hill was then arrested by Cambridgeshire Police on suspicion of criminal damage and breaching the police, when residents complained about his heavy-handed tactics.
Bussinessman Steve Dawson (right) and maintenance contractor Paul Munro are refusing to give in to Mr Hill’s ransom money
Retired deputy-headteacher Wendy Timbs was one of the first people to move into the cul-de-sac when the houses were first built in 1973
Daniel Hill denied that he had held anyone to ransom, intimidated or threatened anyone (file image shows him with wife Louise)
Retired deputy-headteacher Wendy Timbs, 87, added: ‘All of this commotion has been extremely upsetting. I have a heart condition and I have had to increase my medication due to the stress of it all.
‘My husband and I were among the first people to move into the cul-de-sac when the houses were first built in 1973.
‘It has always been a lovely place to live. We have a scarecrow festival most years and children can play safely in the road.
‘But after this man turned up it has been a very worrying time.’
Last night Daniel Hill denied that he had held anyone to ransom, intimidated or threatened anyone, but simply purchased land that was for sale.
He added he was himself a victim of assault, insults and threatening behaviour.
In a statement he told MailOnline: ‘We have always wanted to live in Cambridge[,] we saw a plot of land for sale online valued at £2,000 which included to [sic] potential building plots, roads, paths and a parking area.. We bought the land for £12,000.
‘Before purchasing the land we did all the checks and found that their [sic] were no restrictions and in fact there was a planning polices [sic] that actually promoted development in the village.
‘I have not held anyone to ransom, intimidated nor threatened anyone [,] all I have done is purchase land that was for sale.’
Hill once gave an interview in which he boasted of spending £100,000 on presents for his twin babies – only to be accused by a previous partner of failing to make child maintenance payments