Mark Strong, of Hollingwood, received a letter from Chesterfield Brough Council asking him to take down the balcony which he has had since 2018.
The balcony has become well-known in Hollingwood after winning the ‘best Christmas decorations’ award twice in a row, in 2021 and 2022.
After Mr Strong shared the news of the council’s decision, residents came together in a bid to save the balcony. A banner was put up and a petition launched to keep the balcony has been signed by over 200 people in just a few days – with many knocking on the door to add their signature.
In total, more than 500 people commented on Facebook posts on the balcony, saying it ‘looks amazing’ and declaring their support for Mr Strong.
Mr Strong said: “It definitely surprised me that so many signed and commented. It was so lovely to hear and see the community gathering round to help us.”
The petition can be signed at Mr Strong’s house and in four other locations in Chesterfield including hairdressers at Staveley Square, Coop Inkersall, Post Office in Brimington and Barbers next to the Park Tavern.
Mr Strong also filled in online forms for a petition on Chesterfield Borough Council’s website on Thursday afternoon but has not got a reply from the council so far.
The balcony was first built in 2018 by Mr Strong’s brother Jay, grandson Bradley and dad, Philip Strong, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Mr Strong said that the balcony not only is loved by his family and local residents but also serves as a memorial of his dad.
Councillor Martin Stone, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for climate change, planning and the environment, said: “The construction of the balcony encroaches into land owned by the council which is allocated as public open space. This was constructed without the council’s permission.”
However, Mr Strong hopes that the four-year planning rule could save his balcony. The planning rule allows to legitimise certain unlawful developments that have been in place without planning permission for at least four years. This would apply to Mr Strong’s balcony as it has been in place for almost five years now.
Chesterfield Borough Council has been contacted for a comment on the petition and four year planning rule and has not yet commented.