We're being forced to tear down our fence by council jobsworths – even though it's a foot SMALLER than our old hedge | The Sun

OUTRAGED residents have slammed their council after being forced to sacrifice privacy and tear down their fences.

Locals in Lliswerry, Newport, have hit back at "jobsworth" officials and claim the original hedges were higher than the new wooden structures.

But Newport City Council argues the affected residents were in breach of planning permission rules.

One disgusted homeowner explained they installed a 5ft 6in fence to offer their vulnerable foster child a safe space to play.

The little girl suffers with learning difficulties and anxiety, and privacy was needed for her to feel comfortable outside.

They told The Daily Mail: "If someone is walking past, it triggers her.

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"Since the fence went up, she’s able to play in the front garden.

"We had hedges before. They were seven foot high and two foot wide and out of control. But that's allowed and this isn't.”

The devastated resident forked out a whopping £460 to apply for retrospective planning permission -but their request was denied.

More funds will have to be sourced to pay off another £300 for their appeal.

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Another disappointed neighbour, Corinne Winslett, felt the council was specifically targeting Lliswerry.

"They are all over Newport. Why are we being singled out?" She said.

"None of us thought we were breaking the law when we erected our fences, and none of us were aware that there was a law.

"My options were to apply for planning permission at £460, or pay my local builder £300 to take the fence down, or appeal the council decision – which would cost £280. None of which I could afford."

The residential suburb is considered "one of the nicer" parts of the city but it was revealed by Councillor Mark Howells that locals in the area have been handed out 45 enforcement notices in the past five years.

Another neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed: "This is just such a jobsworth thing for this council to do.

"As if there isn't more important things in the world than the height of people's fences."

Ward councillor Allan Morris denied any knowledge of the complaints.

He said: "What I want to hear from the chief executive is are we seriously going to be taking people to court where the council is going to incur legal expenses and the public are going to incur legal expenses?

"If people had been complaining to us, we would understand it. But we haven’t had anyone come to us."

A spokesperson said: “Newport City Council is legally obliged to investigate complaints in relation to breaches of planning regulations and, if necessary, take action including the serving of enforcement notices.

“Enforcement notices were served on two properties in the Lliswerry area after complaints about unauthorised fences were received."

The council claimed they have been hit with a hoard of complaints about differing types of property boundaries but only four were found to be in violation of planning rules.

A spokesperson stressed formal enforcement is a last resort taken when mediation has failed.

"There is an independent appeal process for people who wish to challenge the notice or an application that has been refused", they added.

"Court action is only taken if remedial action is not undertaken by the property owner and the council would be able to recover its costs."

This comes as thousands of residents find themselves in fence disputes with their council.

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Locals living on Highland Drive, in Worlingham, near Beccles, have launched an appeal against East Suffolk Council after feeling "threatened" in their three-year-battle.

To take a look at six rules that could land you in court for making changes to your home read here.

Planning permission

Source: thecrimepreventionwebsite.com

  • You will require planning permission for any new fence, gate or wall over 2m in height.  
  • This will normally include the addition of trellis panels on top of an existing fence if this takes the overall height to above 2m.
  • You do not require planning permission to grow a thorny plant along the top of your 2m fence (providing there are no support structures over 2 metres) unless there are covenants or restrictions.  Check with your local planning authority
  • If the new fence or wall borders or adjoins a public highway used for vehicles you may need planning permission if it is higher than 1 metre.
  • If you live in an area, which has open planned front gardens there is likely to be a covenant restricting the erection of any fence or hedge to the front of the dwelling and you must therefore refer to the local planning authority before you carry out any work.
  • If you live in a listed building or your property borders a listed building
  • You do not normally need planning permission to plant a hedge, but you should check with the local planning authority first as you will have responsibilities to maintain the hedge so that it does not cause a nuisance to others. 
  • Before you carry out any work on your boundaries do check with the local planning authority first to see if there are any restrictions or if you need planning permission

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