Ex-coal miner who built 6ft wall around his house for his ‘privacy and security’ is told by council to knock it down after he failed to get planning permission for it
- Mark Roberts was told to knock the wall down – but will get to keep most of it
- Read more: The coastal towns where house prices are soaring
An ex-coal miner who constructed a 6ft wall around his house for his ‘privacy and security’ was ordered by a council to knock it down after he failed to get planning permission for it.
Mark Roberts, from Caerphilly, Wales, paid £5,000 in 2020 to build the wall after complaining about antisocial behaviour in the area, including missing items and ‘syringes’.
A year later he received a letter from Caerphilly County Borough Council demanding that the structure be demolished.
He tried to put in a retrospective planning application for the grey slate wall and was rejected.
But Mr Roberts appealed the decision to government department Planning and Environmental Decisions Wales (PEDW) and will be allowed to keep his wall, provided that he makes it shorter.
Mark Roberts, a homeowner from Caerphilly, Wales, paid £5,000 in 2020 to build the grey slate wall
‘The wall is three years old this month and I had a huge conifer hedge there,’ Mr Roberts told Wales Online.
‘I took it all down because the wall was coming apart and it was getting dangerous. So I then built the wall – a nice strong wall, didn’t think anything of it, and then we had a letter from the council that someone had reported it.
‘I was really shocked because the wall had been up for some time. I’m not the only one with a wall like this either.
‘I’ve walked around the estate and there are a lot of walls like that and they’ve never had a problem.’
He said he’d built it to protect his privacy and security of his home, having found bottles and syringes in the old hedge.
He’ll have to reduce the height of the wall but won’t have to knock it down completely after appealing the council’s decision
Mr Roberts said he must have been reported by another neighbour and that he wouldn’t have done that to others.
‘Another wall has been built across the road – a beautiful wall but a similar height to mine. But because no-one reported him he’s fine. If I reported all the people with high walls by here they’d go through the same thing, but I’d never do that, that’s not me,’ he said.
A PEDW inspector concluded that the council had been ‘excessive’ in demanding that the wall come down.
‘I see no purpose in requiring the demolition of the wall in its entirety, only for a lower wall constructed using the same materials as those used on the main dwelling to be immediately erected under development rights,’ they said.
‘Therefore, and within the context that the enforcement process should be remedial rather than punitive, I find that the requirements of the notice are excessive in this case. I shall therefore vary the requirements of the notice to include the option of reducing the height of those elements of the wall.’
Mr Roberts said he was slightly disappointed with the outcome but ‘not as gutted as I thought I’d be’.
‘We now have two months to alter it. I’ve got to reduce it to a metre in height, so I’ve nearly got to half it. I feel like I’ve won but I also feel like I’ve lost a bit.’
MailOnline has contacted Caerphilly County Borough Council for comment.
Source: Read Full Article