CITY MP Christine Russell has taken up the case of a Blacon resident hoping to put an end to almost a decade of escalating anti-social behaviour by gangs near his home.

But the planning application, put forward by Mr D Smith at 44 Wyndham Road, is recommended for refusal.

His plans to include part of a grass verge adjoining his end of terrace home in his garden has been called in to the city's planning board by Blacon Lodge Cllr Reggie Jones (Lab).

Mr Smith is seeking approval to take over a 16.5m by 4m strip.

Mrs Russell has told planning officers at the city council that Mr and Mrs Smith have been in touch with her for almost 10 years over “escalating” anti-social behaviour by gangs of youths on the verge adjacent to their home.

The MP says the Chester and District Housing Trust, who own the strip of land, back the idea and have agreed in principle to sell to Mr and Mrs Smith.

Neighbours and many other residents of Wyndham Road are said to be supportive of the land being taken into Mr and Mrs Smith's ownership.

Landscape officers say they cannot support the application as it would alter the appearance of Wyndham Road and affect an area which plays an important part in the wider landscape.

They say there is a recognised shortfall of open space and the verge has a visual and recreation value for the whole community.

The amenity space which would be lost is public open space which enhances the setting of the road and contributes to the overall enjoyment of the area, according to a report.

It is suggested that if permission was granted, this would set a precedent for further proposals by other local residents to enclose open spaces.

Recommending the application should be refused, planning officers say the garden would appear out of keeping compared to other green spaces which form part of the character of the location.

Mr Smith's application is due to be considered by the planning board at a meeting on Wednesday (January 7) at the Crowne Plaza hotel in the city centre at 10.30am.