Illegal shed and greenhouse removed from Whitburn land

The shed and greenhouse are removed from Malcolm Pratt's garden.

The shed and greenhouse are removed from Malcolm Pratt's garden.

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South Tyneside Council workers were called in to dismantle a garden “eyesore” which a disabled man had illegally built on communal land near his home.

A shed and greenhouse were hauled down following complaints from residents in May Grove, Whitburn, that they couldn’t get access to the land beside their bungalows.

Malcolm Pratt was angry after the council dismantle his shed and greenhouse.

Malcolm Pratt was angry after the council dismantle his shed and greenhouse.

Chickens were also removed during the operation against Malcolm Pratt.

Mr Pratt, 63, said the council’s intervention had left him feeling “depressed” and claimed he had been unfairly singled out for action.

But a spokesman for South Tyneside Council said Mr Pratt’s neighbours welcomed the move and pledged to tackle other problem sites in the same way.

Mr Pratt, who stood as a UKIP candidate in the borough’s Westoe ward at this year’s local elections, built the new shed earlier this year to store various items, including an air compressor and woodworking tools.

The shed and greenhouse are removed from Malcolm Pratt's garden.

The shed and greenhouse are removed from Malcolm Pratt's garden.

He accepts that the site had “become a bit of a mess” but said he was committed to tidying it up.

He added: “It seems that they were determined to pick on me for some reason. There are other people with two or three sheds, but I was the one who was singled out. I had another shed there before but that was damaged by strong winds in March and left items exposed.

“This action has left me feeling depressed. I enjoy my garden and I had peppers and tomatoes in the greenhouse. Now there’s nothing left.”

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said: “A number of items, including a shed and greenhouse, as well as chickens, were removed from communal land at May Grove, Whitburn.

“This communal garden is for the enjoyment of all tenants in the bungalows and we had received a lot of complaints from Mr Pratt’s neighbours, who were unable to access the area and considered it to be an eyesore.

“We are continuing to work with all tenants to have other items removed from the communal area.

“However, Mr Pratt’s lack of co-operation meant that we were left with no other option but to take action to have the items dismantled. Mr Pratt had no legal right to put them on the land.

“The other people living in the bungalows have been delighted by the proactive approach taken by staff from South Tyneside Homes and the council to resolve this long-standing issue. We will tackle other problem sites in the same way.”