David Vs Goliath battle – 97-y-o woman refusing to sell front garden to housing developers

A 97-year-old woman is locked in a David and Goliath battle over her front garden – which she has refused to sell even for £100,000.

Strong-willed pensioner Dolly Burton has been asked to give up two metres of her front garden so that a development of 49 houses can go ahead.

Her home is owned by Bristol City Council, and Ms Burton has reportedly been offered a “five figure sum” by the local authority and developers.

She has lived in the house on Shaldon Road, Lockleaze, Bristol, for 50 years but the two-metre strip of land in her front garden is needed to widen the road in front of her house, to create a public highway for the development.

Dolly Burton’s home in Morris Road. 97-year-old Dolly Burton has refused to give the council a two-metre strip of land in front of her house to widen the road which is need by housing developers.

Ms Burton told the BBC: “They can offer me £100,000 and I still wouldn’t budge.

“The way they wanted it, they’d take most of the garden and it would be awful if I had no front garden.”

Councillor Paul Smith, cabinet member for housing, said she was “completely within her rights to refuse” the offer.

Mr Smith said: “She is a council tenant, it is council-owned land, but the rules are such that the council can’t take away part of somebody’s tenancy without their agreement.

“If we can’t use that strip of garden then we’ll have to work with the existing access.”

Today Theresa May is set to announce a government overhaul of planning rules to urgently stimulate UK house building.

Over the weekend Housing Minister Sajid Javid warned that the Government could strip local councils in England of planning powers if they fail to build enough homes.

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