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Homeowner who raised bottom of his sloping lawn by 20 inches wins battle with neighbours to keep it

A homeowner has won a battle with his neighbours about his raised garden after they claimed it allowed him to ‘peer into their gardens’. 

Father Matthew Williams, 36, caused a storm in Pentre Nicklaus Village at Llanelli, south Wales, by raising the bottom of his garden by 20 inches. 

Mr Williams wanted to level out his sloping garden by building a £3,000 wall to give him a bowling green-like flat lawn.

But neighbours said their privacy was threatened as he could now ‘peer into their gardens’. 

Retrospective planning permission was requested to keep the raised garden, a new boundary wall and a 1.8 metre fence around it. 

Committee member Cllr Kevin Madge said he understood why the neighbours were angry but said it was ‘very hard’ for them to turn down.  

Mr Williams was forced to stop work for 18 months after earlier getting permission for a rear extension and to raise areas immediately around it at his £500,000 detached house.  

Mr Williams went on to lift the whole of his sloping garden by 20 inches in the village named after golfer Jack Nicklaus.  

Neighbour Gareth Williams said: ‘The raised ground level seriously compromises the privacy of our back garden. It’s all too easy for an adult to peer over.’ 

He added that the row had been going on for 18 months and claimed his neighbour was ‘clearly out of step with the local community’. 

Richard Bowen, representing Matthew Williams, said there would be no adverse effect on neighbours in terms of loss of daylight or privacy. 

Five neighbours objected to the changes along with Llanelli Town Council and two ward members. 

The plans were put forward to Carmarthenshire Council’s planning committee and the work at the house was put on hold. 

Committee member Cllr Kevin Madge said: ‘If he had done things properly at the beginning, maybe we would not be where we are today.

‘A lot of people have paid a lot of money for them properties. I can understand why they are angry. 

‘On the other hand it’s very hard for us to turn it down.’  

The committee was shown a similar raised garden with a boundary wall and fence in the same estate. They voted in favour of approving the plans.  

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