The new gate of Hell (handcart access required)


DESPITE strenuous objections from his neighbours, a man has been granted permission to keep two lions in his back garden. 

Reece Oliver, 28, lives in the Nottinghamshire village of Strelley, which is covered by Broxtowe Borough Council. The seven-month-old big cats have had their den behind his house since February, when he is said to have ‘rescued’ them from a circus in the Czech Republic. The enclosure he built for them did not have the right permits so he had to reply for retrospective planning permission. This was granted by the council after he claimed they would have to be put down if he could not keep them, to the dismay of 14 neighbours who claimed the public would be at risk.

How refreshing that Broxtowe, represented in Parliament by the delightful Anna Soubry, should take such an enlightened attitude to animal welfare. After all, if the lions did get out, what could possibly be the danger?

So have any other creative planning decisions been made by the borough? A hard-hittingTCW investigation has found these examples.

SITE: Former playing field adjacent to St Elfrida’s junior school, Beeston.

APPLICANT: Tim Rong-un.

SCHEME: Build detached nuclear weapons silo, approx 20,000 square metres. Applicant assures council officers that warheads will be pointed only at South Korea and any radiation leakage will be confined to the immediate area, although it might be best if the schoolchildren wore protective clothing.


SITE: Rear garden of semi-detached home in Back Gasworks Gardens, Greasley.

APPLICANT: Madame Valerie Discard G’Estaing.

SCHEME: Erect lifesize replica of Eiffel Tower as celebration of Anglo-French co-operation. Applicant promises officers that project will be no more than 324 metres tall and will have zero environmental impact as it will be constructed entirely of recycled Gauloise packets and onions.


SITE: Front hardstanding of terrace house in Batmanghelidjh Crescent, Watnall.

APPLICANT: Ms Annelid Coyle, secretary-general of the Tapeworm Liberation Front (‘Embrace your inner parasite’).

SCHEME: Install glass tank no more than 3 metres square to house large collection of parasitic worms plus subsidiary containers for ticks and headlice. Applicant points out that with no home available for these poor creatures they face being destroyed.


SITE: Former Methodist chapel in Benn Street, Cossall.

APPLICANT: Mr Stan Beelzebub.

SCHEME: Create new gate to Hell. Enclosures required for multi-headed guard dog plus entrail-plucking ravens. Handcart access required. Applicant pledges to soundproof all areas, minimising impact of anguished screams on neighbouring residents.


SITE: Bungalow in Theresa Drive, Nuthall.

APPLICANT: Mrs Doris Norris, aged 87.

SCHEME: Install ramp to enable wheelchair access for applicant’s husband Maurice, disabled by injuries sustained fighting for his country. Officers point out that application was completed in blue ink rather than the stipulated black, and paragraph 93, subsection C, includes shaky handwriting.


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