A Newmarket family who have had a flagpole in their back garden for 13 years have been told they need planning permission to keep it there.
Gail and John Hardy of Wilfred Sherman Close, were hoping to be flying the England flag from the pole during this summer’s World Cup, but they have been notified it is two metres taller than the maximum permitted height of 4.6 metres.
The couple have been told to either shorten the pole, which is attached to a playhouse, or pay £172 to submit an application for a planning permission.
“At first I thought it was an April Fool’s joke,” said Mrs Hardy. “I think it is the funniest thing I have ever heard, that someone can take the time to make such a big fuss about a thing flying on a play home. I am gobsmacked, there are flags everywhere,” she said.
“They can take me to court but I am not doing anything,” said Mrs Hardy. “I am certainly not giving the council £172 for planning permission. We put the flag up and because it is the World Cup this year we want to keep it up.”
Sally Easton, senior communications officer for Forest Heath District Council, said: “The owner was informed that, to regularise the breach of planning control, the flag had to be reduced in height or an application should be submitted for consideration.
“Should no action be taken by the owner the council will need to consider whether it is expedient or in the public interest to take enforcement action. We will inform the owner, and complainant, of our decision.”