I'm devastated after killjoy council bosses smashed up my garden display – I'm 86 & only wanted to brighten things up | The Sun
A GREEN-fingered gran has been left devastated after killjoy council bosses smashed up her garden display.
Gillian Davies, 86, was left in tears when workers began destroying her 17-year labour of love after it was deemed a "health and safety hazard."
They wielded lump hammers at her beloved shed at the retirement home in Stamford, Lincs, rounded up her ornaments and ripped up years of hard work.
The retired land worker had splashed hundreds of pounds on sprucing up the outdoor space since she moved into the aptly named Emlyn's Gardens in 2006.
Gillian and a pal had spent countless hours pruning her plants and forked out on adorable ornaments and furniture.
The gran had even won an award for her incredible gardening skills.
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So she was left stunned when South Kesteven District Council told her she didn't have permission to do any gardening – and it would have to be demolished.
Jobsworth council chiefs sent workers round last Friday, who tore up Gillian's potted plants and dumped them in a heap.
The wooden trellis the pensioner had put up for decoration was also yanked down as she watched on in horror.
Gillian, who has 28 grandchildren, sobbed: "They used a big hammer to smash my shed and plastic container, and started taking all my ornaments.
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"I have lost it all."
The removal of the gran's garden display has sparked uproar among residents as well as her loved ones.
Her furious son Stephen, 60, fumed: "She hasn't got long left. That's all she has. She loved that garden.
"She used to do it with her friend until her friend passed away. She's done it for 17 years. What they've done now is a joke.
"It's the way they smashed it all up, they used a big lump hammer that they smashed the shed up with."
The caravan maintenance technician said his mum was "a big gardener" but has struggled with her mobility in recent years.
He continued: "She knew it wasn't just her garden, it was for everyone to use.
"She was saying to me 'I've had enough of life'. How could they do this to an elderly and disabled woman.
It is called Emlyn's Gardens, but where are the gardens?
"They are saying it was a fire hazard and they'd fall over the rocks in the garden. But there's paths here.
"They smashed all her trellis up, her plastic box up. They pulled all her plants up and dumped them.
"The lady next door was saying she wished she'd never moved in now."
Another resident, Jillian Murcott, 83, who recently moved into the council-owned retirement complex, said: "It is called Emlyn's Gardens, but where are the gardens?
"I was in one house since 1978. I have come here and in one week I have seen more upheaval and destruction."
Robert Reid, the council's cabinet member for housing and property, claimed the plants blocked a fire exit and it was in the interest of safety that they were removed.
He said: "Communal spaces are there for all tenants to enjoy but are owned by the council, which ensures they are safe and well-maintained.
"The communal space at Emlyn's Gardens provides an exit route in the event of a fire and therefore it is vital it is always clear.
"The council met the tenant to explain the situation and they were also notified by letter of the need to clear personal items and remove the shed, but failed to do so.
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"Following their removal by the council, some of the items are now in the possession of a family member and others remain at Emlyn's Gardens awaiting collection.
"Work has now started to restore the garden, providing a safe area that all tenants can use and benefit from."
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