Privacy-loving residents of a wealthy suburb criticized the ‘jobsworth’ labor council that ordered them to tear down their garden fences
- The council says the fences are ‘not in keeping’ with the area
Privacy-loving neighbors in a suburb say they have been ‘targeted’ by ‘jobsworth’ officials from a Labor council who have ordered them to tear down their garden fences.
Homeowners took offense when told to get planning permission to put up wooden fencing to the front of their houses, as council officials say they are “not in keeping” and “impair visibility” at Liswerry, Newport.
The locals are furious as they know of no complaints about their fencing, and the same structures are common in other parts of the Welsh town.
One homeowner recounted how they erected a 5-foot 6-inch fence to protect a vulnerable foster child who suffers from learning difficulties and anxiety.
They said: ‘If someone walks by, shoot it.
Locals say they have been singled out for their ‘offensive’ billboards
They claim they have been ordered to tear down their fences because they are ‘not in keeping’ with the area.
The decision has provoked a furious reaction from privacy-loving neighbors.
‘Since they put up the fence, she can play on the front lawn.’
The owner paid £460 to apply for retrospective planning permission, but the application was denied, and he is now appealing, which costs a further £300.
They said: ‘Before we had hedges. They were seven feet tall and two feet wide and out of control. But that is allowed and this is not.
Lliswerry describes itself as “one of the friendliest suburbs” of the Welsh city, with four independent councilors on the Labour-controlled council.
Another neighbor, Corinne Winslett, said: ‘They’re all over Newport… Why are they pointing at us?
‘None of us thought we were breaking the law when we put up our fences, and none of us knew there was a law.
“My options were to apply for a planning permit at £460, or pay my local builder £300 to tear down the fence, or appeal the council’s decision, which would cost £280.” None of which I could afford.
Corinne said she felt planning officers ‘make the laws and decide who follows them’.
She added: “I am in favor of abiding by the law if it applies to everyone.”
Councilor Mark Howells said 45 enforcement notices had been served over the fence issue in the Lliswerry area in the last five years.
Another neighbor said: ‘This is something worth doing for this council. As if there were no more important things in the world than the height of people’s fences.
Councilor Mark Howells said 45 foreclosure notices had been served
Ward councilor Allan Morris has said he is confused by the directive
District councilor Allan Morris said he had not been made aware of any complaints from neighbours.
He said: ‘What I want to hear from the chief executive is are we seriously going to take people to court where the council is going to incur legal fees and the public is going to incur legal fees.
‘If people had been complaining to us, we would understand. But no one has come to us.
A spokesperson said: ‘Newport City Council is legally required to investigate complaints in relation to breaches of planning regulations and, if necessary, take action, including notifying compliance.
‘Foreclosure notices were served on two properties in the Lliswerry area after complaints about unauthorized fencing were received.
‘The City Council then received a large number of complaints about the different types of means of enclosing property boundaries in the area. Each was investigated, but only four were found to be in breach of planning laws.
‘As a result, notices of execution were served in each case. Formal enforcement action is the last resort when negotiations have failed to resolve the schedule control violation.
‘There is a separate appeals process for people who want to challenge the notice or a request that has been denied.
“Legal action is only taken if the property owner fails to take corrective action and the council would be able to recover its costs.”