MP set to visit Cheltenham’s ‘Sheep Pen Garden’ as row over ‘eyesore’ fence could reach Government

The shared garden at the center of recent controversy is set to be visited by local MP Alex Chalk. Goldington House, in Cheltenham, which hit the headlines after a resident erected a 1.8m-high ‘eyesore’ fence despite objects from the other three residents, was recently renamed ‘Sheep Pen Garden’ on Google Maps.

Alice Reeve, a 46-year-old Lyme disease sufferer, and her mother housebound Annie are calling for a change in the law to prevent fences such as this from being put up without the need for planning permission. The pair contacted Mr Chalk who has agreed to look into the ongoing dispute and is set to visit Goldington House in the next few days.

Annie Reeve, 77, was the first to dub the fenced-off part of the garden a ‘sheep pen’. Her daughter, Alice, has since led the complaints over the new fence and is now calling for further action.

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A spokesman for Mr Chalk told Gloucestershire Live: “Permitted development rights have existed for many years under governments of all stripes, and aim to balance the rights of homeowners to make changes, while protecting the interests of neighbors.

“Alex has been invited to visit Goldington House to see with his own eyes whether that balance is being respected. He plans to do so in the coming days.

“Although it is for the Cheltenham Borough Council to consider enforcement in individual cases, as MP, Alex may also decide to take up with ministers broader concerns raised by this case about the scope of permitted development.”



The ‘Sheep Pen Garden’ on Google Maps

Alice, who is a full-time carer to her mother, accepts that there is nothing illegal about the new fence, but added, “You don’t necessarily do something just because you can.

She said: “I’m delighted that Mr Chalk will be coming to see the fence. I believe that the fence has ruined what was a beautiful Victorian garden.

“The garden also boasts views of the 19th-century Pittville Pump Room, which is surely the most magnificent building in Cheltenham.

“So anything Mr Chalk can do to help bring about a change in the law would be much appreciated. We’re just waiting for him to confirm when he’s able to visit.”

Gloucestershire Live approached the resident responsible for the fence but they declined to comment.

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