Takeley man in battle with council over security light

Brian Wales, who is fighting the council over a security light he had installed

Brian Wales, who is fighting the council over a security light he had installed

Archant

A Takeley resident has vowed to go to court in a battle with the council over a security light he has installed at his sheltered accommodation.

Brian Wales, 74, who lives at Priors Wood Court, paid to have the light installed outside his property after he and his wife suffered vandalism to their cars.

But Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has told Mr Wales he must remove the security light, which is wired to his apartment, or face legal action.

UDC installed CCTV cameras at the complex following the incidents of vandalism, which saw Mr Wales’ previous vehicle – a Smart car – picked up and moved several times down the road.

His wife’s Peugeot Coupe 407 was also targeted a few weeks ago when two tyres were slashed and paintwork was badly scratched, causing damage estimated to cost £2,000 to repair.

Mr Wales, a former property landlord, says other residents have also suffered vandalism and that the quality of the council’s CCTV footage is not good enough because it is too dark. He said: “What I want is for the council to provide adequate lighting around the building.

“It is only a 30 watt lamp that enhances the security of the building, yet I am told I must take it down.

“At first they [UDC] told me they had received complaints from the bungalows opposite but no evidence was produced. I even went to talk to the residents in the bungalows, and none said they had complained – in fact two thanked me for putting the light up.

“Then they said it would invalidate their insurance and mine, but I checked with my insurance company, who said if anything it would lower my premium.

“They are now claiming I am in breach of my tenancy agreement by carrying out alterations without consent.”

Mr Wales says he is not going to let the council take the light down and is prepared to face potential legal action.

“I would happily go in front of a judge and explain the situation if that’s where this ends up.

“This is about protecting the people in this building from vandalism and I am not going to lie down.”

A spokesman for UDC said the matter was now with the council’s legal team and they did not wish to comment further.

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