A planning inspector has ruled on a bizarre row over an “eyesore” fence.
Gary Flowers, 68, has waged a one-man protest over his neighbour’s 8ft fence, putting up posters, banners and flashing lights to alert the public to his campaign.
Tens of thousands of drivers have driven past Gary’s home in Wakefield Road, Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, since his protest began at least 18 months ago.
Retired plumber Gary has posted videos on YouTube and hired a consultant to make a report for planners. He also hand-delivered 7,000 letters to homes and businesses across Kirklees.
He has used cuddly toys, dolls and garden gnomes to create eye-catching displays in his front garden on one of Dewsbury’s main roads, often changing them on a daily basis.
Gary’s neighbour Binnie Hyder, 26, put up the fence around his end terraced home without planning permission in June, 2013.
Gary complained to Kirklees Council that the fence was too high and posed a road safety hazard.
Mr Hyder submitted a restrospective planning application but it took the council eight months to make a decision, finally refusing permission.
Mr Hyder appealed and now Government inspector Julia Gregory has backed the council, dismissing the appeal.
The inspector said while she did not believe the fence affected road safety, she ruled it was “alien” and out-of-keeping with the character and appearance of the area.
The council can now order that the fence be torn down or changed.
Gary said had the fence been allowed to stay it would have set a precedent.
He hoped the council would now launch enforcement action to have the fence removed but said: “The displays will carry on until the fence comes down.”
Mr Hyder told the Examiner he had done nothing untoward and had been initially unaware that he needed planning permission.
He was now taking advice on what to do next.