Lincolnshire man defends garden display after winning permission to keep sculptures

  • Video report by Emma Wilkinson

A homeowner has defended his decision to install a number of eye-catching sculptures in his garden after complaints it looked like he had "ram-raided" a war museum's gift shop.

Lee Morris, from Hibaldstow, Lincolnshire, has collected quirky items throughout his life and has displayed several in his front garden.

He faced objections from neighbours when he had to apply for retrospective planning permission for five new models outside his house, including four two-metre RAF plane sculptures. He also has a large metal dragon.

But he was relieved when he was told he could keep them.

Mr Morris said he has had people coming to his house to request a tour.

The sculptures were granted planning permission at Mr Morris' home in Hibaldstow

He said they were "in keeping with the area".

"Everyone has a different idea as to what they like in their garden and this is mine," he said.

"I didn't do it to capture local interest, or to stand out, I saw the planes, I liked them. I take a good interest in my garden, I just personally think it's in keeping with the local area.

"We have sky divers and planes coming over all the time, it's in keeping. It could be a lot worse let's face it, than living next door to me."

Some neighbours had voiced strong opposition to the sculptures, with one commenting that Mr Morris gave "no consideration to the surrounding residents or wider neighbourhood".

One resident said it looked like Mr Morris had "ram-raided Duxford Imperial War Museum gift shop."

Mr Morris claims he didn’t initially realise that he needed planning permission for the sculptures.

Another called the sculptures "tat" and joked "Game of Thrones want their dragon back".

Mr Morris's nextdoor neighbour Valerie Moore was among those who objected. She said safety was her main concern.

"If the fixings fail, it could drop onto our property and cause injury or damage," she said.

"No consideration was shown to the neighbours and the neighbourhood, it's not a theme park.

"Yes they're probably quite nice models in their own environment, but they're not suitable for a front garden in a residential area."

In one particularly strongly-worded comment on the planning application, someone wrote: "Game of Thrones want their dragon back."

However, fellow neighbour Keith Davis said he has "no real problems at all" with the plane sculptures.

"They're part of our heritage," he said. "Alright, they might be a bit big but I've got a caravan stuck in the garden, a lot of people have. They're surely more objectionable than the planes."

Despite the controversy, the sculptures will remain as a permanent fixture in the neighbourhood after retrospective planning permission was granted.

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