Portsmouth councillors were at the centre of a penny-pinching row for charging a householder £100 to drive his car over a patch of land the size of a coffee table.
Steve Carter paid a nominal £1 a year to cross the 2ft by 3ft plot which led to a garage at the back of his Doyle Avenue, Hilsea, home.
But councillors wanted to hike the charge by 1,000 per cent to bring it in line with those paid by homeowners in similar situations throughout the city.
Portsmouth housing chief Jeff Wellings admitted he was unsure why the council was keeping control of the strip.
Father-of-two, Mr Carter said: ‘If I had known this access had a £100 cost attached to it I would not have bought the house.’
Labour councillor David Horne said: ‘Lots of other people have to pay £100 and have done so for years.’