Man hangs cheeky banner to hit back at neighbours after two-year planning feud


A man who was locked in a two-year feud over planning permission for his garden shed has celebrated his victory with a banner to hit back at the “petty” neighbours who opposed it.

Alastair Leggate built a storage shed in the garden of his home in Hamilton in August 2019, which became home to two pigeons and some of his children’s rabbits.

But he was first visited by an environmental health officer to inspect the shed, before anonymous complaints were made to the council over the “large structure” the joiner had built.

When the council eventually ruled in his favour, the 46-year-old has become somewhat of a local celebrity by hanging a huge banner on the shed, reading: ‘Great news permission granted’ with a smiley face – leaving some locals in stitches.

Alastair said he had originally built the shed to store lawnmowers and other equipment, but a friend who keeps pigeons gave him two birds as pets and they moved into the shed along with some rabbits kept by his three children.

In October last year, the dad had a visit from the council and environmental health officers, saying a neighbour had complained about the pigeons.

The shed passed an inspection and Alastair thought the issue was over, but then in January the council returned to say complaints had then been raised over the “large structure”, informing him he would have to apply for planning permission for the shed he built more than a year previously.

He said: “The council came back in January [and said] that they had been told I’d built a large structure in my garden. I said ‘I hadn’t built a large structure, it’s the same shed’.

“So, I had to go for planning permission for the shed which just seemed to be absolutely ridiculous. I got 11 anonymous complaints on the planning portal online.

“All the people round about us don’t have any issue. I’m good pals with all my immediate neighbours and they said they had no problem after a letter was sent around about it from the council.”

Alastair was on holiday last week when the judgement was made, and he admits he couldn’t wait to get home to hang the homemade banner on the now fully-approved shed.

“We were down in Blackpool for five days and it was actually a neighbour who told us that the council had given us permission to keep the shed because they got a letter,’ he said. “So, I thought ‘straight up the road and I’ll put up that sign’.

“The sign was a bit of tongue and cheek because I don’t know who complained. If someone had come to the door I would have compromised but it’s just ridiculous.

“We’ve had people walking by shouting over the wall ‘well done’ and cars driving by to take pictures and beeping the horn. It’s just gone mental.

“People have said I have guts to do it but arguing and shouting is not my style. It’s just a wee laugh.”

Alastair, who had coronavirus and was furloughed during the pandemic, says it has been some much-needed good news after a “rotten” time.

“The sign is just a wee bit of happiness after the time we’ve had over the last two years,” he continued. “We don’t need to be complaining about each other, it’s just nonsense.

“If I was genuinely causing someone upset we would have done something right away but it was just pettiness.”