Jean Bailey, of Harriseahead, Newcastle UK, lost her husband who had been battling cancer in 1994. As a way to honor him, she created a memorial garden in her backyard. She took a boggy marsh area and turned it into a beautiful pond that is flooded with frogs, fish, newts, and other pond creatures. Bailey has poured her heart and soul along with upwards of £9,000 into her amazing garden memorial.
Bailey lives in a granny flat that is extended from the home of her daughter, Kerry. They paid £2,000 to have the lands properly drained before landscapers came in and helped to create this garden memorial haven. Bailey tells the reporters that these gardens provide her with hope and a reason to go on each day.
It was brought to the attention of the town council by way of neighbours inquiring about expanding their own gardens, that she had disrupted the greenbelt lands. Her husband’s garden memorial of seven years is in jeopardy. Bailey has been ordered to restore these lands to their original agriculture state.
The Newcastle Borough Council has sent notices of enforcement to Bailey that if she fails to bring the greenbelt lands back to original state, that she will pay penalties or face imprisonment. Bailey tells the news reporters that she stand with her garden memorial and gladly serve the jail time before she rips up her hard work.
Kerry, works for the Atsbury Garden Centre, has helped her mother to file a retrospective planning application. At this point, the application has been denied by the Newcastle Borough Council. Eddie Boden, council member, says that there are no exceptions to the planning rules, even for the sake of a garden memorial.
Bailey is losing sleep over the prospect of losing her memorial garden. Her neighbour says that this is a total injustice of the bureaucracy system. Bailey no doubt has several long days ahead of her as she battles with the town council to keep the memorial garden in memory of her dear husband. Kerry tells reporters that they won’t stay there if the council continues to refuse the application and orders them to destroy the memorial garden.
It is such a shame when issues like this arise, the Authority seem so bureaucratic and mean spirited, poor woman you have to feel sympathy. However it does seem as though the perhaps unilaterally extended her garden to do this and one wonders whether she had considered the plan slightly risky in the first place?