FEUDING neighbours who took their dispute over the right to install new water pipes to London's Court of Appeal were urged to settle their differences yesterday.

The water supply to Peter and Jean Childs' home at St John's Chapel, Weardale, County Durham, could be cut off three times a day and pressure could drop as many as 20 times, the court heard.

But when they tried to sort out the problem by installing new pipes, in July 1999, they were accused of trespassing over land owned by their neighbours, John and Anne Martin.

Yesterday, the Childs failed in their challenge to a ruling by Deputy High Court Judge Behrens, who found them guilty of trespass at Newcastle in January last year and awarded the Martins £100 in damages.

But one of the country's top judges, Lord Justice Pill, said: "The court is in the somewhat frustrating position of giving a ruling without solving what is an undoubted practical problem."

The Childs said through their counsel, Nicola Allen, that under the terms of a clause in a conveyance dated June 1992 they were entitled to enter the Martins' land to lay new water pipes.

But Edward Denehan, counsel for the Martins, said they could only replace existing pipes and not install new ones.

Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Pill agreed with the county court ruling that the word "installing" in the conveyance did not permit either party to install a completely new system.

But he said he hoped the couples could resolve the dispute and put right defects in the existing system.

Lady Justice Hale agreed the appeal should be dismissed.

She said the parties lived in a wild and beautiful place, but not so wild that the parties should not be entitled to a reasonable supply of water.