A KNUTSFORD dental practice is taking a homeowner to a tribunal over a dispute over a garage which was converted into a kitchen.

Mere resident Chris Paterson bought a 12-year-old house in a development off Gaskell Avenue called Heathlands House, which is also home to the dental practice that goes by the same name.

He bought it 18 months ago for his mother-in-law Eileen Moore and converted the garage – that he said was not big enough to fit a small car – into a kitchen after gaining full planning permission from Cheshire East Council despite objections from the practice.

But the dental practice – which holds the freehold lease – has continued to oppose the change, and is now taking Mr Paterson to a tribunal as it feels the change to the building affects the number of cars being parked in the courtyard.

Mr Paterson told the Guardian he didn’t understand why the dental practice had objected to the kitchen conversion.

“Eileen relocated over here and has just turned 65 and we bought the place because it is next to the shops,” he said.

“When she’s older and can’t walk very far she can just pop into town. We’ve made it really nice for her, and the planners agreed with everything we submitted.

“I don’t know why the practice wants to do this, to deprive a pensioner of a nice home that we have bought and modified so she can have a nice life in the centre of Knutsford.”

Mr Paterson pays £150 a year for the ground rent and £600 a year to the management company that looks after the development.

Simon Warburton, a partner at Gaskell Avenue Dental Practice, said the freehold lease – that is held by the surgery – states that any permission needs to be granted before any alterations can take place to the building.

“From our point of view it’s our responsibility to look after our residents and to protect the parking,” he said.

“If you sign a lease that says you can’t alter the house without the permission of the freeholder and don’t ask then this affects the parking for all of us and it removes a garage.

“If we set a precedent of letting that happen carte blanche without approaching us then it would be rather cramped for parking. We’re looking after our residents.

“There was one other resident who agreed with us, and if he had asked us for permission I’m not sure what we would have done.”

Mr Warburton said he did not want to discuss the tribunal as the outcome of it was a matter between him and Mr Paterson, but if the practice was successful in its claim it could force Mr Paterson to reverse the work already done.