- Amanda Waidun and Paul Garnett bought land from council in 2010
- Inspired by The Good Life, they feed their two sons with home-grown food
- This year, council accused them of 'annexing' plot, ordered them to demolish
- Sparked £1,000 battle and petition from entire village of Wyke, West Yorks
A couple living off food grown in their back garden have become embroiled in a legal battle - because the allotment 'violates planning laws'.
Amanda Wadiun, 26, and her partner Paul Garnett, 29, bought the disused plot of land behind their home from Bradford council in 2010.
Reminiscent of the lifestyle on TV sitcom The Good Life, they have eaten produce grown on the land, including potatoes, onions and eggs, for four years.
The Good Life? Amanda Waidun, Paul Garnett, and their two sons Reuben and Alfie live off the food grown in their allotment in Wyke, West Yorkshire - but Bradford Council claims it is a violation of planning laws
Garden: They bought the house in 2010 because it was next to a disused plot of land, which they also bought
However, they have been threatened with 'enforcement action' and a warning to demolish the wooden chicken run, shed and vegetable patch.
In a letter from the council, bosses said the couple, who have two children, were not allowed to use the land as a 'garden' - despite selling the plot as 'a private garden'.
Sparking a £1,000 legal battle, the council added that the family could apply for retrospective planning permission but that the council would recommend refusal.
Ms Waidun said: 'When we got the letter it was totally out of the blue. I can’t tell you how shocked we were. We had just that morning gone out to by wood to build an aviary.
'We wanted the house because of that plot of land so we could live off it. We are into rearing chickens and we wanted to teach our children the value of self-sufficiency.
'Every document sent to us when we were purchasing this land said it was to be used as a private garden.
'We now grow everything from cabbage, beans, salad and beetroot. So much love, money and of course time goes into that land.
Livestock: As well as growing potatoes and beetroot, the family keep hens and geese in their back garden
Warning: Mr Garnett and Ms Waidun were told to demolish their vegetable patches, shed and chicken coop
Conflict: The enforcement order came three years after the couple bought the land as a 'private garden'
'Even when I was pregnant with my first boy I was out there digging and planting.'
Finally, after a petition from the entire village of Wyke supporting them, the family has been allowed to continue living 'the Good Life'.
Ms Waidun said: 'We’re very relieved but it never should have come to this in the first place.
'If they had taken the land away from us they would have taken away our food source and all the money and hours of labour and love invested in that garden.
'We had to borrow the money from Paul’s parents to fight this thing. We don’t have £1,000 lying about just to give away at a moment’s notice.
'We wanted to teach our children the value of self-sufficiency'
'Councillors at the meeting kept saying it was ridiculous that this had happened. One councillor, usually a staunch protector of green belt land, even said there was no other conclusion to come to.'
The couple bought their house in 2010 because of the council plot next door - following the example of Tom and Barbara Good in TV sitcom The Good life.
They then bought the land the following year for £10,000 with a contract stating 'the land not to be used for any purpose other than as a private garden'.
The couple spent £30,000 turning the unkempt and overgrown land into a self-sustainable private garden and play area for their two children, Alfie and Ruben.
Mr Garnett erected a wall around the site, security alarms in the chicken coops and grew potatoes to soften the soil.
They currently grow various vegetables in their garden including potatoes, onions, cabbage and beetroot. They also keep chickens and geese - guarded by two Alsatians dogs and two cats.
However, in February, planning enforcement officers contacted the family warning them the changes to the land were in breach of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Building: The couple spent £30,000 building a shed and chicken coop so they could save on grocery spend
Relief: After a village-wide petition, they have been allowed to continue living The Good Life
One neighbour of the couple, who has lived in the area for 20 years, signed the petition, writing: 'I don’t believe there have been any objections to their plans and feel it would be a travesty and lacking in human kindness if small-print and red tape were to cut short their dream.'
Other neighbours commended the couple’s efforts to turn the ‘old dumping ground for fly tippers’ into a ‘green’ environment at their own expense. And local Independant councillor David Robinson said the situation was 'absolutely barmy'.
Today a Bradford Council planning spokesman said: 'This plot lies within the Green Belt and therefore any change of its use or anything that is erected on the site requires planning permission.
'However, the Planning Panel decided that special circumstances justified granting permission for the owners to erect a greenhouse and use it as a garden, especially since it had been used as such for many years.
'The Planning Panel did stipulate that it could at no time be used as a separate, independent unit.'