Georgina Key, 71, and her brother Reverend Peter Berry, 80, bought what used to be an abandoned barn in High Offley, Staffordshire about ten years when they both retired and have lived in the renovated project for the last three. One of the first additions they made to the run-down building was adding a custom, yet traditional pergola to the backyard area. Now they’re in a fight with local council planners who are demanding they take the pergolas down, according to United Kingdoms news source DailyMail.Co.UK.
The local council has told them that the custom pergolas are “out of place,” in the rural setting they live and gave them 12 weeks to take the fixture down. The siblings on the other hand believe they’ve done more to make the abandoned barn they’re now living in and surrounding area aesthetically and functionally improved than their being given credit.
Much like Amish furniture, which is 100% handmade, the siblings pergola was constructed by hand. They also argue that neighbors with swing-sets and trampolines in their yards are far more offensive to the rural landscape than coming up with unique pergola design ideas.
“It’s barmy to me because I live in a converted barn and the pillars were, at one stage of their lives, part of a working farm before the First World War so they are most definitely in keeping with their surroundings,” Key said. “I’m keeping it up – I have 12 weeks to fight it. I’m fighting it not just for me, but for other people living in barns.”
The pergolas in their garden area are made with Victorian cast iron pillars and oak cross-beams. Oak is one of the five types of wood used primarily by the Amish. The four pillars weigh about a tonne each and were taken from a railway station from the 1820s. Key reportedly inherited them from her grandparents who had salvaged them back in the day. About 95% of consumers in one survey, “expect furniture to last for many years” and this particular structure was constructed in a way to do just that.
The siblings plan to fight the case on appeal in hopes that their beautiful, unique pergola will be allowed to stand tall for years to come.