The shared garden at the center of the recent controversy is set to be visited by local MP Alex Chalk. Goldington House, Cheltenham, which made headlines after a resident erected an ‘ugly’ 1.8m high fence over the objections of three other residents, was recently renamed ‘Sheep Pen Garden’ on Google Maps.
Alice Reeve, a 46-year-old Lyme disease sufferer, and her homebound mother Annie are calling for a change in the law to prevent fences like this from being erected without the need for a permit to build. The couple have contacted Mr Chalk who has agreed to look into the ongoing dispute and is expected to visit Goldington House in the coming days.
Annie Reeve, 77, was the first to dub the fenced part of the garden a ‘sheep pen’. His daughter, Alice, has since led complaints about the new fence and is now calling for further action.
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A spokesperson for Mr Chalk told Gloucestershire Live: ‘Permitted development rights have existed for many years under governments on all sides and seek to balance the rights of owners to make changes, while protecting the interests of neighbors.
“Alex has been invited to visit Goldington House to see for himself if this balance is being struck. He plans to do so in the coming days.
“Although it is for Cheltenham Borough Council to consider the application of the law in individual cases, as an MP Alex may also decide to discuss with ministers the wider concerns raised by this case regarding the scope of the authorized development.”
Alice, who cares for her mother full-time, agrees there’s nothing illegal about the new fence, but adds: “You don’t necessarily do something just because you can.
She said: “I am delighted that Mr Chalk is coming to see the closing. I believe the fence ruined what was a beautiful Victorian garden.
“The garden also has views of the 19th century Pittville Pump Room, which is certainly Cheltenham’s most magnificent building.
“So anything Mr. Chalk can do to help change the law would be greatly appreciated. We’re just waiting for him to confirm when he can visit us.”
Gloucestershire Live approached the resident responsible for the fence but they declined to comment.