AN ISSUE which has led to a bitter village feud is to be probed by an independent planning inspector.
Involving a strip of land at the side of 55 Greenlands, Tattenhall, the planning application for a change of use to garden has been rejected by both the former Chester City Council and by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
Applicants Christopher and Ruth Flight, who purchased the two storey detached in 2006, made efforts to trace who owned the land, said to form part of the landscaped setting of the 55 home estate.
When they failed, they applied to include the land in their garden.
Most recently, their plans, involving ranch style fencing less than 1m in height, led to almost 100 letters of protest and nearly 170 backing the move.
Letters poured in to planning officers at Cheshire West and Chester Council from Tattenhall itself and as far away as Worcestershire, Leeds, Orkney, Inverness, Leicestershire, Lancashire, London, Kent and the West Midlands.
Tattenhall and District Parish Council objected strongly and argued the change would be detrimental to the quality of the appearance of Greenlands and harmful to the amenity value of the area.
Highways engineers had no objection and the change to garden was supported by landscape officers.
Objectors protested at the loss of open green space which they said would be detrimental to the character of the area.
It would be contrary to the original layout and design of the estate as intended by the developer and architect, they argued. They also feared it would set a precedent.
Supporters of Mr and Mrs Flight insisted there would be no loss to the community as only a small area is involved and there are ‘significant’ areas of amenity land throughout the village including two play parks close by and a large park.
Mr and Mrs Flight had taken on board earlier comments by the parish council and had removed a 1.8m high fence from their plans and replaced it with the ranch style fencing.
They pointed out there would be an improvement as the land included concrete and untidy grass.
The application was recommended for refusal on the grounds the change of use to garden would detract from the setting of the neighbourhood and its character.
Mr Flight has now appealed.