RESIDENTS complained about Pete the Pond in Willingdon – a story which has gone viral.

Peter Birchall, known to many as Pete the Pond, has a garden full of ponds, flowers and rare pond plants.

On March 3 Peter said he was told by Wealden District Council to remove all the features in his back garden by the end of the month because the council sees it as a ‘commercial enterprise’.

Peter is devastated and this week Wealden District Council has issued an updated statement.

It reads: “As with all planning enforcement matters, we aim to negotiate and reach an agreed solution to the matter. 

We only take matters further when necessary and proportionate, where there has been a breach of planning control that cannot be resolved by other means, there is also the right to appeal any formal action the Council may take.

Officers visited the site in response to concerns raised from local residents regarding the commercial use of a domestic property, untidy land and possible environmental health concerns.

We continue to work with Mr Birchall to ensure a solution can be found which protects his wildlife garden and also maintains the residential qualities of the area in which he lives.

For further information about planning enforcement please see our strategy here.”