A pensioner has taken to the streets to express her dismay after the council said she could not create a driveway outside her house.

Ann Sutton, 71, put up a banner outside her home in Witham Road, Black Notley, in protest at Braintree Council’s refusal of her plans to build a drive.

Mrs Sutton had a planning application refused in 2014 and has been unable to reach an agreement with planning officers ever since.

She says she has the support of MP Priti Patel over the matter and despite the council stating any new applications would also be refused, she insists she will keep on fighting to secure her driveway.

She said: “I put the banner up to show them I won’t give up.

“People have been looking and waving. The dustcart went by one day and they gave me a toot. My neighbours are all for it.”

She added: “Everyone else has driveways around here so what is the reason I’m not allowed? I’ve had quotes from builders and engineers and none of them could see a problem, they actually wrote down the measurements and said it was fine.

“It’s just the council that has an issue.

“They want me to give up but I’m afraid I am not giving in.”

Mrs Sutton is required to park in a nearby road called Dewlands but has previously told the Times she has to park further away due to a lack of spaces.

She says the lack of parking provision in the area is further proof a driveway is needed and she claims a spate of criminal activity in Dewlands has made her feel uneasy about leaving her car parked away from her house.

She added: “Over the years we’ve had a car stolen and one with a door smashed in. I had a brand new car and someone keyed it and left patterns all down it.

“It’s an unnerving experience leaving your car far away from your house. You do worry something might happen to it.

“I just don’t understand why anyone would think it’s a good idea to make people park away from their own homes, especially a pensioner like me.

“What am I supposed to do with my shopping if I have to park away from my house? How do I clean my car?”

A spokesman for Braintree Council rejected suggestions the authority was in dispute with Mrs Sutton as no new application has been submitted.

The authority refused the original plans due to fears it would compromise the safety of pedestrians and other drivers, as well as have a detrimental impact on the character of the area. 

Essex Highways also objected to the proposals. 

A Braintree Council spokesman added: “Planning permission was refused for vehicular access and driveway in 2014.

"The reasons for refusal were clearly set out and are available on our website. The applicant did not appeal the decision.”