A woman who was told she had to take down her children's climbing frame, and won the right to keep it in her Mill End garden, has accused the council of wasting tax payers money.

Lucy Godfrey, of Thellusson Way bought a wooden climbing frame for her children last summer, but was told to remove it by Three Rivers District Council after her neighbour complained.

The mother of three-year-old twins Ben and Ruby, and eight-year-old Emily, said she was given a “ridiculous” deadline of January 17 to carry out the work.

However, after a successful appeal, the family climbing frame was given planning permission.

She said: “It has taken a year to sort this out and it has been a nightmare.

“I just think it's a waste of tax payers' money. There must be more important things they can spend our money on, like the state of the roads or the old peoples' home that has been pulled down.”

The decision of the appeal court, made on July 20, was that the climbing frame did not encroach on the privacy of Ms Godfrey's neighbours, which was the main concern in the case.

This was in light of the fact other properties were able to see into the neighbour's garden and that the children would only be using the outdoor equipment for occasional use.

Ms Godfrey said: “I'm really pleased at the decision and very relieved that it is all finished now. All we wanted to do was put a climbing frame up in the garden for the children.” There have been no further complaints from the neighbours since the appeal decision.

Councillor Geoffrey Dunne, chairman of the planning committee, said: “Three Rivers District Council served the enforcement notice after considering the size and height of the play structure following several complaints from residents.

"We will continue to listen to residents concerns in all matters of planning issues and will act where we feel it is necessary. No costs were incurred to the Council in relation to this appeal.”