18 February 2000

Pigs cause a stir after house plan is blocked

A BUILDER from Essex has bought a batch of pigs and named them after the local councillors who rejected his plans to build a house in an affluent village near Southend-on-Sea.

Jim Butcher was told that he could not build a house between two neighbouring properties on Hall Road, Rochford, because the quarter acre plot was designated an agricultural green belt.

But now Mr Butcher has turned the tables on the council chiefs, who say they are powerless to remove the animals because of the agricultural designation.

Steve Heading, head of planning services at the council, added: "We have considered the matter, and none of the activities require planning permission."

Furious locals claim smells and flies will lower the tone of the area, but Mr Butcher is adamant the pigs will remain until Rochford District Council relents.

Jim Butcher says pigs will stay until the planners relent.