A 70-year-old man who has been told to remove a flagpole from outside his sheltered accommodation home is trying to win the right to continue flying fly his flags.
A row broke out last week when 70-year-old Patrick Sullivan [left] put the 20ft flagpole outside his bungalow in Highwoods Square, Colchester. Within days he was asked by Colchester Borough Homes, which owns the building, to take it down, following complaints from other residents.
Mr Sullivan said he wanted fly the Union Flag because he is very “patriotic”. Independent ward councillor, Beverley Oxford, who received the complaints, said the council had no authority to ask Mr Sullivan to take it down because he was breaking no planning laws. Mr Sullivan unsucessfully stood for the BNP in last year’s council elections.
Gordon Steed, tenancy services manager, said: “We asked Mr Sullivan to take his flagpole down, because he put it up without asking us for permission.
“All tenants need to have written permission from us before making alterations to their homes, irrespective of whether they need planning permission or not for those changes. The decision to ask him to take down the flagpole was purely made on this basis. It was not taken because of the views held by the tenant. We are investigating the complaints which have been made about the flags. Our tenancy conditions say people should not cause nuisance or annoyance to their neighbours. We will examine whether or not it is happening in this case, and take appropriate action. Our goal is to make sure people feel happy and safe in their homes. We respect the fact that many people are patriotic, and do not discriminate against them because of this.”
Mr Sullivan said he would write and ask for permission, but he is also planning to launch a petition in the area to find out what people really think of the flagpole.
Colchester and North Essex Gazette