20/09/10

Naturist pensioner says council is breaching his human rights

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A pensioner who likes to do his gardening naked has claimed a council is breaching his human rights - by granting permission for three homes to be built overlooking the, er, bottom of his lawn.
Leslie Howard, 70, thinks potential new neighbours will be able to see him as he bares all.
And, after arranging his hedges so he is always out of sight even when trimming his privets in the buff, he insists he is willing to be arrested to protect his way of life.
The retired firefighter, a naturist for 50 years, has been told the occupants of the planned houses may call the police if they become offended by the view from their second-floor windows in Steeton, near Keighley, West Yorks.
But single Leslie said: "The 18-metre garden was the reason I bought the semi 17 years ago.
"Since then, I've spent thousands on fencing and hedging so my neighbours couldn't be offended. Now, I've been told by a Bradford Council officer that I could be charged with indecency if people complain."
Nudism in public is generally legal if it does not cause harassment, alarm or distress to others.
So Leslie added: "After all this time without upsetting anyone round here, I'm willing to be arrested and let a magistrate decide.
"While I'd never walk down the street with nothing on, I'm entitled to my privacy and beliefs." He believes the planners are ignoring sections of the Human Rights Act - including respect for private life, freedom of thought and being able to enjoy property without unnecessary interference.
But council casework manager Ian Wilson said: "The application for housing next to Mr Howard's property will see homes built 30 metres from his boundary - so it was considered there'd be no loss of privacy within habitable rooms.
"We are confident this complies with the Human Rights Act."

News Mirror

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