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‘Garden pinched for new homes’

An angry council tenant claims the authority has pinched a strip of his garden for a new housing development. Chris Pruden lives in a block of flats in St Peter’s Place, which backs on to the Westgate Gardens. They are next door to the former council-owned Serco storage site, which has now been flattened to make way for three new houses. But Mr Pruden, 51, who is unemployed, says that when he and other residents looked at the plans, they were surprised to see the boundary included a metre-wide slice of garden along the 30-metre length of the side of the flats. He said:

“A metre width may not sound much but when you haven’t got much garden in the first place, it matters. It’s a plot of land where some people have plants and is also somewhere to dry your washing outside. I’ve frequently contacted the council to formally complain about it but never got a response. The residents’ views here were totally ignored. A few years ago they planted leylandii which are notorious for growing fast and getting out of control. All they will do is block light coming into the flat, making it dark and dingy. I question whether what they have done is actually legal, but as no one will talk to us about it, I can’t find out.”

Council spokesman Rob Davies said:

“We have received a complaint about this matter. Officers are investigating and will be replying shortly.”

Herne Bay Gazette, April 2nd 2015

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