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Stewart's new lake is approved by the council after delay

By Ongar Gazette  |  Posted: June 14, 2012

  • LAKE MY DAY: Stewart Spencer has the go-ahead for a one-acre lake in his back garden

  • Stewart Spencer in his back garden where the lake is to be built.

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A NEW lake will be dug in a meadow near Ongar after a controversial planning application was given the thumbs-up.

Plans to dig a one-acre lake in Greensted Green have now been passed by Epping Forest District Council after a four-month delay.

Neighbours had originally raised fears that the water feature could cause flooding.

However, the applicant, Stewart Spencer, later amended the proposal to allay people's concerns.

The revised application will see the lake moved away from neighbouring properties in Greensted Road.

A pond will also be built to collect any run-off.

The proposal was considered by the council's eastern planning sub-committee in February, but a decision was delayed pending a site visit.

On Wednesday evening, district councillors voted unanimously to pass the application.

Mr Spencer, 29, who wanted to build the water feature as part of a general wildlife garden, said: "I'm absolutely delighted.

"It's been a long process and there are still conditions I have got to meet. But I'm happy that everyone has seen sense and come to an agreement."

Neighbours had previously raised concerns about an intrusion of privacy from a walkway around the lake, which has been resolved by moving the body of water away from neighbouring properties.

An embankment walkway has also been removed from the plans.

There were no objections from neighbours to the revised application.

Mr Spencer added: "It was just a bit of a misunderstanding between myself and neighbours.

"I have listened and learnt.

"The neighbours are happy and I am happy.

"I'm looking forward to getting started on the project now."

Ongar Town Council, which objected to the original application, did not have time to formulate a response to the revised application.

Speaking on behalf of the town council at the meeting, Councillor Brian Surtees said: "Having taken our stance after consultation with residents, who are now happy with the aspects of the scheme that had upset them before, I don't think that Ongar Town Council will wish to continue to object to this matter.

"Had the changes been notified to us in time to allow us to consider them in council I think that's the decision we would have come to."

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