A CONTROVERSIAL fence erected without planning permission in Ilkley has been taken down.

A contractor working on behalf of the home owner John Ogden removed the fence at 17, Victoria Avenue, Ilkley, this week, before enforcement action was taken by Bradford Council.

It follows complaints from neighbours who said the land has been ‘arbitrarily appropriated’. They started a petition objecting to the work.

Bradford Council then served a formal notice to Mr Ogden asking him to remove the fence or apply for a change of use of the land, which is classed as an unadopted highway.

A local resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "Mr Ogden has now taken his fence down - at least, his contractor has. I understand he will be moving it back to the original boundary line on his property. I gather he also has to return the soil levels in the woodland to their original state and that this work has to be done manually."

There are still concerns however that wooden gate posts remain at the front and rear of the property, almost five weeks after the November 6 deadline for the fence to be removed.

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth (Ind, Ilkley), who has lobbied Bradford Council on behalf of residents said: "The first stage is almost completed. I note a gatepost is still in situ and the land levels have not been rectified. I have a considerable number of disgruntled residents."

Cllr Hawkesworth also questioned what action would be taken by Bradford Council over the flouting of tree protection order regulations

"The residents expect the land to be returned to as was," added Cllr Hawkesworth. "In other words parents, children, cyclists, horses expect to continue using the full width of the road as a right not a privilege. Also any application for a closure order can expect massive objections."

Ilkley's MP John Grogan also met with angry residents last month and urged Bradford Council to take the necessary enforcement action.