A homeowner, branded a ‘garden grabber’ by neighbours, has been given permission to build a house in his garden next to a nature reserve — despite claims he has no rights to the land.
The application for a house at Blythe Way, next to Batts Copse and Sibden Hill nature reserve in Shanklin, was turned down by councillors last year due to the size and scale of the building.
Revised plans approved
However, owner Neil Hilson resubmitted the plans, this time for a two-bedroom split-level house.
The plans were approved by councillors, who said Mr Hilson had taken onboard comments from the previous meeting.
Councillor for the adjoining area and committee chair, Cllr Chris Quirk (Shanklin South), was unable to comment on the plans because he’d known the applicant and lead objector for many years.
Cllr Vanessa Churchman said:
“Can something not be done so the member appoints a representative to speak on their residents behalf? They have no representation.”
The plans attracted more than 70 comments from residents and neighbours who claimed the land was gifted to the town to be used by the public and should not be built on.
A certificate of lawfulness was granted to Mr Hilson six years ago, as he had successfully demonstrated the land had been used by him as a garden for more than 12 years after he had fenced it off and claimed it as his own.
Edit: 11 Mar 2019 – Corrected ward Cllr Quirk represents and added detail about him knowing lead objector
13 Mar 2019 – Advised of copy change by LDR, so added that Chris Quirk was the committee chair
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed
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