A man is facing eviction from his council-owned allotment after erecting a flagpole on his plot.
David Beresford-Jamieson has lovingly tended his allotment for the past three years - but has now been told he will have to leave if he does not remove the flagpole.
David, 69, a charity worker, said: “The council sent me a letter to say that the ‘structure’ had not been approved.”
He said he had always wanted a flagpole on his plot in Langley Green, Crawley, and had put one up with a weather vane on the top, alongside a Union Jack flag. But, he said, a resident from a nearby property had complained about it to Crawley Borough Council.
“Legally, a flagpole can be 46 feet tall, but mine is substantially lower than that. I also moved it it to another position on the plot which wasn’t as close to the person’s property.
“I refuse to take the flag down. It’s a legal thing. It’s the Queen’s flag.”
Now, he says, the council have told him to remove his personal effects from the allotment within two weeks.
“I still have crops in the ground, plus you can’t get a vehicle in there during the winter months. I have told them I need more time but I’m not inclined to give the allotment up.
“I have put up a greenhouse, a polytunnel and a shed, and put in a watering system - I’ve spent a lot of money there.”
He said his wife Evi Rose was also very upset about the situation. “We don’t need to have this aggravation. This is supposed to be our place of relaxation. It’s supposed to be where we can chill.”
A council spokesperson said a resident complained in August about the ‘large flagpole/weather vane’ that was ‘impacting on the view from their property.’
The spokesman said Mr Beresford-Jamieson was asked to reduce the height of the pole. “Unfortunately the tenant then chose to install a large flag on the pole, which further increased the impact on the resident. Following this, the council requested that the tenant remove the pole entirely.
“We continued to communicate with the allotment tenant with regards to the removal of the pole and allowed significant time for him to carry out the necessary work.
“Unfortunately he did not respond to our requests and the decision was made to terminate his tenancy, which he was informed of in October.
“Under allotment regulations, tenants are required to seek permission before installing any structure on their plot and not to cause, or permit any nuisance to any occupiers of property in the neighbourhood. Any breaches of these regulations can result in termination of a plot tenancy. These regulations were introduced two years ago following an extensive consultation in which all tenants were happy to agree with.
“While we understand that many of our plot holders enjoy adding their own personal touches to their plots, any additions must not impact on the surrounding residents and we request that plot holders check with the council first.”