A Devizes family has finally gained planning permission to build a house in their garden after almost 30 years of trying.
Phillip and Linda Dicker, of Roundway Park, had been refused permission by Kennet District Council and its successor Wiltshire Council seven times – including three being dismissed at appeal.
They tried one last time and, after their planning consultant Richard Cosker demonstrated the lack of harm to the neighbourhood, planning officers at Wiltshire Council withdrew their objections and granted permission last month.
Mr and Mrs Dicker first applied to build a house in their 360ft garden in November 1984, a few years after they moved to Roundway Park and built their own four-bedroom house.
This was refused, along with subsequent applications up to October 2011. The couple planned to build a house and sell it on.
Mr Dicker, 61, who owns a building company and is a carpenter, said: “The planning officers said we would never get planning permission there. However, we never had any problems with highways, neighbours or the parish council. We just couldn’t really understand why it was refused.”
Their eighth bid, for a two-bedroom chalet bungalow, was submitted because they wanted to build a house for their youngest daughter, Sarah Dicker, 29, to live.
Mr Cosker, of RCC Town Planning Consultancy, said the National Planning Policy Framework had helped in gaining planning permission.
Mr Dicker said: “When we heard we had got planning permission I was a bit shell shocked. It didn’t really sink in for several days. When I told my wife and daughter they were absolutely ecstatic.”
The couple estimate they have spent about £20,000 on architect and planning application fees in the 30 years of seeking planning permission. Mr Dicker hopes to start building in March.