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Jean Bailey

I am trying to find out if anyone in the Gardening community is backing Jean Bailey who has been threatened with losing her beautiful garden that she has worked so hard on since her husband died. it is a haven for wildlife too.  But the council say part of it is on 'green belt' land and she has to remove it!!!  has anyone else out  there heard about this (it was in last Saturday's Daily Mail).  Surely Monty Don, Carol Klein, Alan Titchmarsh etc. could get behind her and save this garden.  Feedback appreciated.  thanks.



  • I suppose the thing to do, then, is to write to them personally and ask them to do so. The publicity involved in a garden visit from one of them or from GW would surely help. Personally, I think this is a shocking thing, because all she has done is to make the area more wildlife-friendly. She hasn't built anything on the land except a pond, as far as I know. I would be willing to write to the council and protest on a personal level, if someone posted the address to contact. I am sure others would be, too. I am wondering whether she could aproach her local MP, but perhaps she has already done so. I remember from my days in the civil service that an MP's letter made people jump to attention. 

  • Yes, I will do that when I've worked out how to contact them personally (not had much luck so far).  But i have just googled Staffordshire ~County Council and there's a Contact Us to click on their website, which I did.  It brings up a normal page to e-mail on and I've said my piece to them, so go for it!!


    Yes the local MP is also a good idea, but that;s up to her really eh?

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    This is the story -for those who haven't seen it

    Sorry to say that I have no sympathy whatsoever-this story is heavily weighted to show the council in a bad light whereas we get a sad picture of a lady who claims all innocence of planning laws  and when she gets found out goes running to the papers with this story and pulls out "the I would rather go to prison line"

    Planning laws are there to protect others in a lot of cases-councils are not always the bad guys and do not take decisions like this lightly

    That is how I always see these stories-there are two sides

  • Personally, I think a letter in black and white is better than an email, which may never reach the person it is intended for, but be read by a clerk and forgotten. A letter to the ,local newspaper is also a weapon, since it provides bad publicity. I'm in sympathy with this lady; I'd be indignant if I could not cultivate my own garden as I pleased.


  • Sorry to sat

    ysotongeoff I do not agree with you.  We know planning laws are there for a reason, but in this case I feel they are going OTT.  In this case there has been no harm done and on the contrary there will be 'harm' done when it is returned to it's boggy state, plus the costs all round.  It is just a lot of jobsworth rubbish!!

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    But you dont know that-as for thinking that people who present Gardeners World would have any wish to get involved in a planning dispute is just being unrealistic-to what end?

    This is a matter for the person concerned and the council-if she wishes to appeal then let her do that-but running to the newspaper does her no favours

  • i have to agree, Snowdrop. This could have been ignored with no harm done to anyone and some gpood done to the appearnace of the area and the amenities for wildlife.

  • Well I think 'running to the papers' has done her a favour, as people are aware of the situation now and will be backing her up against the council jobsworths.  This is more than a planning dispute, and the sad fact about society today, is that people don't want to get involved and help others, especially those that are being treated unfairly.  Also in the article it mentions that the extra land was included in the sale!!

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Council officials are not jobsworth-they are people who have a job to do-I expect some of your neighbours are employed by the council-would you describe them in that manner?

    Before rushing to judgement you need to be in full possession of all the facts-and again we really have only one side.

    You do not know she is being treated unfairly-you only know what you have read from a newspaper article.

  • Val40Val40 Posts: 1,377

    Having recently watched 'The Planners' I have to agree with you Snowdrop re 'jobsworth'.  It is their 'power', that goes to some of these bods heads, that allows them to make these ridiculous decisions,,just because they can.  We hear about this type of foolishness all too often. The lady in quesion has built nothing, only cultivated a field which, unless I am mistaken, belongs to her.  She should be given a medal!

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