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Land can continue to be used as garden, council confirms

The garden area next to Lock Keepers Cottage in Greenhill Road, Cwmbran (Pic: Google Street View)

A PARCEL of land can continue to be used as a garden after a council investigation found it had sold the site for that purpose.

Bryn Peterson said the land, that contains the historic remains of a disused canal lock, has been in use as a garden for 60 years. 

Torfaen Borough Council started an enforcement probe last year when it realised a fence had been put up at the land at Lock House, also known as Lock Keeper’s Cottage in Greenhill Road, Cwmbran. 

Officers abandoned their investigation when they realised the land that had been in council ownership was sold to Mr Peterson in the 1990s “for use as additional garden land”. 

It had also been included as part of the garden in “many historic” householder planning applications the council’s own officers had assessed, including applications going back more than the 10 year period after which an unauthorised use is exempt from enforcement action. 

An aerial photograph from the early 1970s showing the land at Lock Keepers Cottage in use as a garden (Pic: Torfaen County Borough Council planning file)

Mr Peterson then applied for a certificate of lawfulness to confirm the land could be used as a garden which the council granted. The site is part of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal conservation area. 

As part of his application Mr Peterson supplied a copy of a letter from the Land Registry showing the former Torfaen Borough Council had sold it to him in July 1994. 

He also included an aerial photograph showing the land in use as a garden in the early 1970s. 

In his application Mr Peterson stated: “The site is a garden, that has been used as a garden for at least 60 years.”