Family angry as pond faces axe

OFFICIALS could order a husband who created a beautiful garden pond complete with decking and a pergola for his disabled wife to relax by to rip it out - after they became concerned about a noisy pump.

OFFICIALS could order a husband who created a beautiful garden pond complete with decking and a pergola for his disabled wife to relax by to rip it out - after they became concerned about a noisy pump.

The restful area, measuring about 20 feet by 20 feet, has been enjoyed by disabled Alison Jones at their council home in Cherry Tree Road, Stowmarket, for a year.

The couple, who have four children aged from four to 11-years-old, have had water features at their three bedroom end terrace council house for ten years.

The latest pond, home to koi carp, has been in situ for about 12 months but the pair have been advised by the council that there have been complaints about the pump and it will have to go because they never gained consent.

Mr Jones, 36, is a full-time carer to his wife, and the couple have four children, Sapphire, 10, Jermaine, nine, Shequita, seven, and Lemar, four.

He said: “I have had ponds in here for ten years, ever since I have lived here. But there has been a complaint about a noisy pump, that's where it all started, although who has complained I have no idea because my neighbours tell me it was not them.

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“I have put a lot of work into the pond, with a pergola over the top, steps up to it, decking around it, there are wind chimes, it's something I have created for the whole family.”

Mrs Jones, 40, said: “I sit and watch the fish and find it very relaxing, lots of people know we have the pond, I just can't understand what the problem is. I am disabled and find it very relaxing.”

Resident Lynda Robinson, who is also disabled and lives nearby in a council flat at Kent Road, said: “This is absolutely wicked.

“The sound of water for a disabled person is very relaxing. I just cannot understand who would complain about such a thing.”

Tim Passmore, leader of the Conservative/Independent run Mid Suffolk Council, said: “I am not aware of this particular case, but people have got to follow proper procedures for developments. There needs to be a degree of control otherwise it would be a free for all.

“This should have been applied for properly, but I am sure people not against the pond as such. We need to check that it is appropriate for the area and fits in with its neighbours.

“I would encourage them to talk to our planning team and hope we can come to a sensible resolution.”