OBJECTIONS to the fencing off of a front garden in a Sutton-in-Craven cul-de-sac were "silly'" according to a district councillor.

Several residents, Sutton Parish Council and two ward councillors objected to the planned fence and gate planned for 18 Rowan Garth.

Applicant James Alderson told Craven District Council's planning committee that he wanted the fence to keep his child safe and added there was already a fence in the cul-de-sac.

But objectors, including his immediate neighbour, claimed the fence would go against the "open plan" nature of the development and contravene a covenant.

Ward councillor Ken Hart (Ind) called for the application, which was recommended for approval by officers, to be refused, or for the committee to defer it for a site visit.

"When planning permission was granted for this estate, conditions were put in place making it an open plan development and these conditions are still in place today. The fixing of metal railings would be out of place and keeping, the railings would also make it difficult for his neighbours to park," he said.

And fellow ward councillor Stephen Place (Ind) moved refusal of the scheme.

It was an open plan estate and it had been the intention of the original builders that it remain that way, he said.

The meeting was told there were boundaries in several of the front gardens, but they were hedges and not fences.

Cllr Ady Green (Cons) said councillors were "going down the silly route".

"Let him put his fence up. If he wanted to, he could dig a trench and put a hedge in. All he wants to do is protect his child."

And Cllr John Kerwin-Davey (Ind) said fashions had changed.

"We don't have to stick with something just because that was how it was 50 years ago," he said.

Approval was given, but with the added condition that the gate opened inwards and not onto the road.