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Fence exceeding 1m adjacent to highway

Postby rogerdygas » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:25 pm

I have just purchased a house, and have received a letter from the council stating the fence should be removed.

I would like to know a few things:
1)Are they right in the letter?

2)What can I do as I cant find a photo older than 4 years? (Google maps street view has a photo that is 3 years 7 months old, and the previous owners have nothing) It was up before the previous owners bought it 5 years ago.

3)What would they do if I didn't rectify the fence?

Im reluctant to shorten the fence as its there for the safety of my children who play in the garden.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)

Nature Of investigation: Erection of fencing exceeding 1.00m in height
adjacent to the highway

The Council has received information in respect of the above.

Following an investigation, it has been established that there is a breach of the planning regulations at the above location, this is because a fence exceeding 1.00 metre in height adjacent to the highway has been erected at the above property. I would inform you that this requires the benefit of planning permission. This is usually referred to as a 'breach of planning control'.

I have checked the Council planning records for the location and it does not appear that planning permission has been granted for the above. As such, the fence is considered to be unauthorised is considered to be unauthorised.(yes thats a typing error on the councils letter)

In different circumstances I would have invited you to submit a planning
application for the retention of the fence. However, it is only fair to advise you at this stage, that it is my informal opinion that the Council are unlikely to grant permission for (another mistake missing the word an) unauthorised fence. This is because the fence is contrary to
planning policy A4 of the East Lindsey Local Plan Alteration 1999. This is because the fence increases traffic danger as it is hard to see oncoming vehicles at the junction as the fence is to high. (In my opinion it doesnt)

I am therefore writing to request that you reduce the height of the fence so that it does not exceed 1.00 metre in height, within 28 days of the date of this
letter, so that the breach of planning control is resolved.

My informal opinion concerning the likelihood of obtaining planning permission is provided for your information and guidance only, and is without prejudice. If you would like to apply for planning permission, despite the advice given in this letter, you still have the right to do so. The final decision on an application. If one were to be submitted, will be made by the Planning Department. If you do decide to apply for planning permission, please submit the application within 28 days of the date of this letter.

I would advise you that the above location will be visited after the time specified in this letter has expired, to check whether the breach of planning control is still continuing or whether it has been resolved, as requested. If the breach of planning control has been resolved, the department will take no further action and this matter will be closed.

If the visit to the above location reveals that the breach of planning control is still continuing, the Council will need to decide whether or not to take formal enforcement action against the unauthorised fence.

I understand that this fence is not a new fence. Development is immune from enforcement action if it has been sited for 4 years or more. I cannot find aerial photos showing that the fence has been inistu (another spelling mistake) for 4 years, therefore if it has, the onus is upon yourself to provide evidence to support this.

If you have any queries regarding the contents of this letter, or require any further information regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact me. My contact details are provided at the top of this letter
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Postby stoneyboy » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:04 pm

1. Yes they are right provided the fence abuts the highway (which includes a footpath)
2. I'm sure google earth will have older images - suggest you ask them
3. They could prosecute you and ultimately remove the fence and charge you. Since it would appear that the fence has been in place for 5+ years and they have not done anything about it in that time I suspect they are investigating as a result of a neighbour complaint and in these circumstances they are unlikely to let things rest.
You could try negotiating so that only the part of the fence which constitutes a visibilty issue is reduced in height.
If you can contact the owners who put the fence up they may be able to provide the proof you need, eg bills.
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