Council to build house on ‘dad’s garden’ which has shed for disabled daughter
A father-of-four is fighting his local council over their plans to build property on the garden he's used for years.
Marcus Jeanton of Wembley, north-west London first moved into his house in 2002.
The family have built both a permanent gazebo and a specialist shed for their disabled daughter on the land, but they are now being asked to clear out by Brent Council.
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Marcus said the situation has "confused" him, particularly since a 2009 letter from Brent Housing Partnership, which once managed Brent Council properties, said the space was in fact "your garden", reports MyLondon.
As part of their ‘Right to Buy’ application, two valuers included the space in their valuations. Their tenancy agreement also states they have exclusive use of the garden at the “side and rear”.
Brent Council has since insisted it is the rightful owner of the land and said this was recently ratified in court – a decision Marcus wants to contest.
The council has since told Marcus he is “trespassing” and could face costs if he doesn't clear the space.
Marcus said: “It’s been very stressful, and we just can’t understand how the council can say it’s their land. They told us in 2009 that we had to better maintain the area as it had become overgrown.
"We’ve done so ever since, putting in timber posts and fencing. Then we suddenly get this letter saying they want to build here and we’re left thinking: 'What’s going to happen to the garden?’”
He said he has invited council representatives to visit so they can discuss the situation, but the council has so far not accepted his requests
Marcus also wants to ensure his home is valued properly.
The two-bedroom home is a bit of a squeeze with four growing children, and the family was told they could convert their living room into a third bedroom to deal with this.
Instead, they plan to buy the property and convert the loft space. On top of this, they want to keep the garden for their children to enjoy and, if it comes to selling, ensure they get a fair price.
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Marcus added: “I just want to keep this as a nice place for my family and I to live in, and keep the garden we have built and were told is ours. Going through the ‘Right to Buy’ process, applying for a mortgage, getting it approved, it can be stressful and time consuming.
“And to be told we would have to go through it all again and that we might lose access to the garden doesn't seem right. It feels like our garden is being taken away and attached to another property the council is building because, legally, they have to have a garden.”
A Brent Council spokesperson said: "The disputed land is owned by the council and not by the residents of Longley Avenue. Their claim to it was dismissed by the courts only recently.
"The space, when developed, will provide a much needed four-bedroom council property, providing a family a safe, secure home."
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