Residents in the picturesque seaside town of Poole are furious at a 50ft high mountain of rusting cars looming over their homes.
Piles of old vehicles have built up at the Charles Trent scrapyard in the Dorset town, overshadowing gardens of neighbours houses.
Locals are angry that the five-car stacks do not count as a ‘permanent structure’ so do not require planning permission and cannot face action.
A scrapyard’s system of stacking cars has left residents of nearby houses in Pool furious at losing light from their gardens
Stacks of cars in a scrapyard overlook the garden of Poole resident Charles Chaffey
Pictures of back gardens in the street show car double the height of some garden sheds
The cars are being piled up on racks by a neighbouring scrap yard, but do not count as a permanent structure under planning law
Local resident Charles Chaffey, 73, a retired engineer, said: ‘It’s absolutely horrendous, a hideous eyesore and a monstrosity. When I’m sat in the back garden it feels like I’m in the middle of a scrap yard.
‘The cars are so close to us I and the other residents fear what could happen in a fire.
‘Our homes and our lives could be at risk. They say there’s no risk of a fire but 170 cars went up in flames at the scrapyard three years ago.’
Another resident, who wished to stay anonymous, said: ‘These ugly and obtrusive car stacking systems are ruining the view from our homes and spoiling their enjoyment of being in our back gardens.’
A spokesman for Charles Trent said the stacking system enables vehicles to be piled up in a ‘more modern and cleaner way’.
They dispute claims that the size and weight of it makes it a permanent structure.
Even from the front of the houses, the stacks of cars overshadowing the gardens are visible
Residents face the unhappy prospect of seeing the cars whenever they sit in their back garden
The scrapyard insists it is doing nothing wrong, but the council is investigating possible action
Using the example of steel shipping containers, Ken Parke Planning Consultants state in Charles Trent’s application for a lawful development certificate that the stacks do not constitute development and therefore do not require planning permission.
Mr Parke, in a letter to the council’s planning department, wrote: ‘In relation to size, the council have made it clear that their main issue is the visual impact of the racking due to its height.
‘But it is not the height that determines whether or not the racking is development requiring planning permission.
‘The racks are lawful on the basis that their siting does not constitute a material change of use of the land.’
The scrapyard pile the cars up on metal structures rather than piling them on top of each other
Residents say they cannot enjoy the peace of their gardens while the cars remain there
Richard Genge, planning and regeneration manager at Poole Borough Council, said: ‘We are aware of this and is currently actively investigating the matter.
‘It is also liaising with other agencies to ensure that any risks to residents is minimised.’
Over 170 vehicles were destroyed in a blaze at the scrapyard on June 17, 2016.
No one was injured in the fire but it caused thousands of pounds of damage to the compound.