Cotswold villagers who used stones from a derelict wall to rebuild another boundary wall are being told to tear it down and give them back.

Residents of Sycamore Grove in Chalford Hill near Stroud took it upon themselves to restore a wall which borders their estate.

Some of the stones they used were from a bunch set aside from a derelict wall which Chalford Parish Council had earmarked to rebuild walls in the village.

Josie Felce, 79, started working on the wall last August which was around a year after residents moved into the new estate off Middle Hill.

“I saw the stones there and I saw rubbish was blowing over from the bin and I started building a little wall,” she said.

“I felt it was right. I’m a teacher, if you seen something wrong you do it. It didn’t occur to me to ask anyone. There was no hedging there.

“Neighbours came to help in September and we finished it by the middle of October then my nephews who are professional stone wallers finished it with cement.

“I then had a fit of honesty and wrote to the parish council to tell them I’d use some stones but it said they were for building walls.”

The residents believed the stones were to be used for rebuilding walls in the village due to a sign which was placed next to them which said stones would be used for parish walls.

David Huband, 85, who also lives in Sycamore Grove, said: “When we all read that sign independently we all took it to mean that you could use the stones from the wall so long as it was for other parish walls.

“None of us took it to mean it was forbidden to take stones away from that derelict wall.”

And neighbour Steve Swan, 68, says there is photographic evidence showing that the wall they repaired has been there for decades.

“There’s a clear picture of the wall that used to be there and it looks identical,” he said.

Ms Felce said she has tried to return stones and placed them near the allotments across on the other side of the road.

But they have not been accepted by the parish council which is adamant they want their stones.

Residents are at a loss as to how they would tell the difference and know which are theirs.

Ms Felce said: “It told them the stones are there, tell me if ithere’s enough and they said ‘take them away we don’t want those stones, we want our stones’.

“At least half of the stones we used are from the wall that’s already on our estate.”

GreenSquareAccord, Ms Felce’s landlord, says the wall has also been built without their permission.

They claim a hedge was removed however residents dispute this and pictures from years ago show the wall has been there for years.

The social housing company also says the wall was built without planning permission but residents question the need for such permission to repair an existing wall.

A spokesperson for GreenSquareAccord said: “A hedge was removed and a wall has been erected on land we own near the boundary of our homes on Sycamore Grove in Chalford.

“This was done without our permission or that of the local planning authority and this is a breach of planning regulations.

“The wall was constructed using stone belonging to Chalford Parish Council, which was taken without their knowledge or prior agreement.

“The council has requested for their stones to be returned.

“While we actively seek feedback from and try to accommodate reasonable requests, we cannot permit unlawful activity.

“We have requested that the wall is taken down and the hedge is replanted and we will take the necessary action required to ensure this is done.”

Chalford Parish Council said in a statement that Stroud District Council granted planning permission for the planting of a hedge along the front boundary of the Sycamore Grove development.

“A group of local residents recently decided to build a wall instead, using stone belonging to Chalford Parish Council, which they took without the parish council’s knowledge or prior agreement,” they said.

“We understand the wall was also constructed without the necessary planning permission from Stroud District Council or agreement from the landowner.

“The parish council’s only involvement in this matter is to simply request that the stones that were taken by the residents be returned.”