Couple told to pull down 30-year-old garage

Pic: James Hardisty,  Janet and Barry Ashdown, from Sproatley, near Hull, are in dispute with East Riding Council over planning permission of their single garage, the driveway in front of it and the joining boundary wall that runs alongside a public footpath. The wall, garage and driveway was built over 30 years ago after the then home owners were given planning permission. Now the council has ordered Janet, three weeks to knock it down.
Pic: James Hardisty, Janet and Barry Ashdown, from Sproatley, near Hull, are in dispute with East Riding Council over planning permission of their single garage, the driveway in front of it and the joining boundary wall that runs alongside a public footpath. The wall, garage and driveway was built over 30 years ago after the then home owners were given planning permission. Now the council has ordered Janet, three weeks to knock it down.
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A couple have been told to pull down a garage, driveway and wall 30 years after they were built.

One of the attractions of the house Janet and Barry Ashdown bought in Sproatley in Holderness back in 1986 was the large extended double garage.

But now East Riding Council claims the single garage extension - built with a previous council’s planning permission - is encroaching on a public footpath - even though there is a 4ft wide footpath running past their house.

The issue raised its head after the retired couple, who are looking to rebuild the garage, noticed that the previous owners hadn’t registered the extension with the Land Registry and decided to apply for “possessory title” or squatters rights.

Their research revealed that the land had been given permission for change of use from an amenity area to a private garden in 1983, and plans for a garage extension and driveway were granted the following year. They even have a letter from the former Holderness Borough Council in 1985, confirming that the boundary wall conformed with official specifications. Mrs Ashdown, a retired milliner, said the council had turned down a request for a site meeting: “There’s never been an objection in 30 years and we can’t see what they will achieve apart from a bit of extra grass they will have to maintain. I don’t know why they want to make an issue of this other than that they can and have the financial backing to do it. But it will cost us thousands of pounds - savings we hoped to put to better use in our retirement.”

Villager Harry Buck, 85, a councillor for 40 years, said: “In my mind this is total silliness, stupidity and lack of common sense on the part of the East Riding. The original land the footpath was on is untouched and nothing is encroaching on the path that’s there now.” The council said it wasn’t appropriate to comment at this stage.