Exmouth OAP told by council to dismantle his garden

A PENSIONER has branded East Devon District Council the thorn in his side after being told to remove a garden at the back of his flat in Exmouth.

A PENSIONER has branded East Devon District Council the thorn in his side after being told to remove a garden at the back of his flat.

Kenneth Goodman claimed he was given verbal permission to create a small garden outside his council flat in Dray Court, Rolle Road, last July, to give him and his wife, Diane, 65, more privacy.

This was to prevent other tenants in the building from knocking on his window, wanting to be let into the building's back entrance.

The 69-year-old, however, received a letter from EDDC last week, which issued him with a 14-day ultimatum to remove features in his garden or the local authority would take legal action.

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Mr Goodman said he was told, initially, by a council housing representative he could do anything he wanted in creating a garden and if he had any complaints from tenants to refer them to the officer.

"I went ahead and did it," he explained.

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Mr Goodman fitted trellis panels approximately three metres in length from his flat wall and a number of ornamental trees around the boundary.

He said: "The officer then came down, had a look and said 'just one point - would you move a trellis fence in by one metre.

"I moved the fence and then one Friday afternoon I looked out of my bedroom window and noticed him in the garden.

"I came out of the house, greeted him and said I had complied with his last request.

"He said 'never mind that, I want that and everything else out and the fence one metre from your bedroom window'."

Joseph McColgan, who lives in Dray Court, said: "It is a lovely garden. I don't think there is any problem with it."

A spokesperson for EDDC said Mr Goodman was given verbal permission to put plant pots outside his flat to discourage people from walking too close to the windows of his property.

But the spokesperson added: "Our officer did not tell him he could erect fence panels on the communal grounds in front of his flat, as to do so would have broken the terms of his tenancy.

"An enforcement officer will consider what action should be taken.

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