ACKLAM residents are ‘delighted’ that Middlesbrough Council has refused permission for a developer to build a detached house in a side garden. 

However, property developer John Bradley, who owns the real estate company Ruby Housing, is planning to appeal the decision to stop him from building a two-storey, four-bedroom house in the garden next to 20 Fountains Drive. 

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Carol Foy, who lives in a bungalow opposite the proposed house, was concerned that the new build would invade her privacy and create a blind bend. 

On hearing that the council rejected the planning application, she said: “On behalf of the residents and myself, I would like to say how delighted we are that planning permission was refused.”

Ms Foy spoke at the planning meeting on Friday, September 10 to raise her concerns about the development. 

She added: “We didn’t buy these properties to eventually be overlooked.

"Every corner plot around that area has the same surrounding garden. 

“We are going to be overlooked, overshadowed, we are going to have a loss of privacy.”

Ms Foy also raised the issue that if the council approved this application then more side gardens could be used for properties. 

She added: “It’s just bizarre that we want to take up these green areas, and we have to remember, this is someone’s front garden.

“It’s not a plot of land.

"Are we going to have to now, when we buy property, think ‘oh that has a big side garden or a front garden, I wonder if they might be building there’. 

“It’s going to encroach on our life. I just think it’s a ludicrous idea to put a big building like this in front of a row of little bungalows.”

Both of the Acklam councillors, Sheila Dean and Eric Polano were against the proposed development. 

Cllr Dean added: “This is not a piece of derelict land, it is literally somebody’s garden. 

“My main issue is the safety. This is going to make it a blind bend.

"There are children walking, cycling and scootering up and down to school there. There are cars racing up and down already.

“The residents told me that cars going too fast come off the road into the grass verges.”

Despite concerns about the bend, the council’s planning officers said the proposed vehicle access to the rear of the property from Sledmere Drive was sufficient to ensure visibility. 

They also said that they did not have any objections to the design and thought it would not ‘prejudice the appearance of the area’.

It was recommended that the Planning and Development Committee approve this project with conditions. 

However, seven out of the eight councillors present voted to reject the application while Cllr David Branson abstained. 

There have been more than 40 objections from local residents with the main concerns being that it would not fit in with the local surroundings, loss of privacy and reduced visibility on the bend. 

Terence Lawton, who lives at number 20 Fountains Drive, submitted a comment in support of the planning application. 

He added: “Although we hire a gardener, this corner plot is looking unkempt and derelict because of anti-social behaviour.

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"Pedestrians use it as a shortcut, leaving it littered with beer cans etc.

“Some irresponsible local dog walkers either use the garden as a “doggy toilet” or dump black bags of excrement on the side garden, leaving us to dispose of them in our refuse bin.

“We are in favour of the proposed build by the applicants and welcome the site being used for a new build rather than be left to become a dumping ground by a few anti-social and offensive local residents.”

In the past, planning applications to build on this piece of land have been approved – in 2016 the council were happy for a bungalow to be built on the land.

However, the project was not started and the time limit on this has now passed, meaning that a new application has had to be submitted.

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