A BAXENDEN man could be forced to cough up £5,000 - to stop people walking through his garden.
Mark Bottomley, of Woburn Close, faces the bill because builders made his garden two feet too long so it technically blocks a public footpath.
A walking group now wants to use the footpath, which could also pass through three neighbours' gardens, though those residents are unsure as the boundaries are not clear on original maps.
Hyndburn Council has been called in to find a solution.
Officers have written to those affected with four options - three of which involve diverting the public footpath around the gardens.
But surrounding landowners would have to back a diversion, so homeowners might have to foot the bill to reduce their gardens to make way for the footpath.
Mr Bottomley said: "We are surrounded by thousands of acres of beautiful countryside but people want to walk through my garden.
"We moved in 18 months ago and thought we had the perfect home in an ideal setting, with great neighbours in a relaxing neighbourhood.''
He added: "We would prefer a diversion but I cannot see any of the landowners putting up with it.
"So we could be looking at a bill running into thousands, as we have a stream and decking running at the back of our house, which would need to be altered."
Judith Parker, also of Woburn Close, said she had received a letter from the council outlining the situation.
She declined to comment further until she and her husband had considered all the options put forward.
A Hyndburn Council spokesman said: "We are still exploring all the options and are sure that we can come to some satisfactory conclusion to this matter."