Joy as dispute over small plot of land next to Grimsby street is resolved
A BIZARRE dispute over a small patch of grass in a leafy Grimsby street appears to be at an end.
As reported, neighbours reacted angrily when Mike and Pam Taylor, of Cherry Tree Crescent, off Yarborough Road, fenced off the land next to their garden in April last year.
More than 40 people signed a petition calling on the council to reclaim the land and return it to public use.
But it emerged that the council had never owned the land – and that Mr and Mrs Taylor had spent more than a decade desperately trying to find out who did, so that trees causing subsidence to their garden could be removed.
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This was because the couple wanted to build an extension, now complete, to their property.
In August the council announced it would not be intervening in the dispute, saying it was a matter for the Taylors and the petitioners.
However, the couple were left in legal limbo, because their planning application to change the use of the land from public open space to private garden had been rejected in February last year.
Legally they had no right to tend to the land, but the council had no powers to order them to remove the fence, as that was erected under permitted development rights and did not require planning permission.
Now the stalemate has been resolved after the council's planning committee granted planning permission for the land to be turned into a private garden.
A relieved Mrs Taylor told the Grimsby Telegraph: "This saga has gone on for far too long and we are so pleased that it has come to an end.
"Common sense has prevailed because potentially we were in a ludicrous situation where the fence was legal but we didn't have permission to garden."
She added that the couple were thinking of planting a cherry tree on the plot.
The council received five letters from residents objecting to the application. However, no residents attended the planning meeting.
Planning officers recommended approval, saying that in the light of the council's decision in August, there was now no "fallback" option for the ongoing maintenance of the land.
In a report prepared for councillors, they said that granting planning permission with a series of conditions would "ensure that the site continues to make a positive visual contribution to the area."
They added that while access to the land would be lost, this was not previously available on a formal basis.
The application was approved by eight votes to two.