Villager's battle to save flower bed from being ripped up

John Proudlock tends to some of the border's flowers
John Proudlock tends to some of the border's flowers

A villager has launched a petition to try to save a flower border outside his cottage after being ordered by the parish council to remove it.

John Proudlock, of Rose Cottage, in Dalton Piercy, says the border has been there for 50 years and the council's decision has caused his 93-year-old housebound mother considerable distress.

John Proudlock in front of the flower border he says has been there for 50 years.

John Proudlock in front of the flower border he says has been there for 50 years.

He has received a letter from the parish council giving 14 days to remove all of the flowers and roses otherwise they will employ a contractor to do it.

An online petition launched by Mr Proudlock has been signed almost 5,000 times in less than three days.

Dalton Parish Council says the flower border is part of the village green, has grown bigger in size and could block access to a new children's play area planned to be built near the cottage.

Mr Proudlock denied that the flower border had got significantly bigger. He said: "It forms part of the character and is an asset to the village.

Rose Cottage in 1967

Rose Cottage in 1967

"I can't understand why any reasonable person would want to destroy something as pretty as that.

"All the residents in the village I have spoken to can't believe it and think it is petty beyond belief.

"The flower border has always been there. It was here when the house was purchased back in 1967 long before the village green was registered."

He said the flowers have been his mother Thelma Peppert's pride and joy for 50 years and the parish council's decision has caused her huge distress and anxiety.

Thelma Peppert and John Proudlock outside Rose Cottage

Thelma Peppert and John Proudlock outside Rose Cottage

"She has been really poorly as a result of this from the stress of it all," added Mr Proudlock. "When you know if you don't do something someone of going to come and rip up your flower border it's mega stressful."

He added other houses adjacent the village green also have small areas of garden or other encroachments but says action is not being taken against them.

Alan Timothy, vice chair of Dalton Piercy Parish Council, said a Land Registry tribunal brought by Mrs Peppert found in 2011 that the land was part of the village green and the flower border "constitutes a public nuisance".

Mr Timothy said despite the ruling the parish council has allowed residents whose homes abut the village green to add and maintain small features.

He added: "Where people have had similar pieces of land in front of them for practical reasons, including the roses until this year we have let people practically get on with it.

"What has happened this year is the size and nature of the garden in front of Rose Cottage, Mrs Peppert and Mr Proudlock have changed and enlarged and added stones to it.

"There is a track at the side of the cottage that is about 6ft to 8ft wide where a children's playground is going to be built."

Mr Timothy also said the parish council would be liable if members of the public fell and injured themselves on the stones in the garden and added Mr Proudlock had not contacted the council to try to find an amicable solution..