Furious woman has to pay £300 to remove fence after neighbours complained it 'blocked the view'
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Media Wales
Newport City Council is threatening to take a group of neighbours to court if they don't sort out the height of their fences.
A group of homeowners in Lliswerry, Newport, began receiving enforcement notices from the council after local resident Corinne Winslett had a long fight over a pretty standard-looking fence.
Corinne had put up a fence between the driveways of her and her neighbour's houses but after they complained they couldn't see out of the end of their drive it sparked a whole fiasco for several houses.
She's ready to go to court as she says there are 'hundreds of fences like it' and she can't afford the £300 to pay the person who built the fence in the first place to take it back down, nor afford the £280 cost of appealing the decision.
Corrine's fence fight was but the first battle in what has turned out to be a much more widespread struggle, as 78-year-old Angela Cureton had a new fence put up last summer and has been ordered by the council to have it taken down.
She said she was 'very upset' to have received the letter as 'the fence gives me privacy' and was told she should have sought permission before having it put up.
Angela even went around all of her neighbours to check if any of them had a problem with her fence and they all told her it was 'absolutely super'.
The council has sent her a diagram showing her what her new fence needs to look like, and basically they want her to lop the top part of it off.
Four residents in total have been told to take down their fences or expect to end up in court.
Lianne Garnett has got a particularly odd situation after she fixed her fence a few years ago and the council told her she'd need to demolish the repaired side.
Apparently, fences which have been up for four years or more are fine, so the bit Lianne fixed in 2019 has got to come down but the other half of her fence can stay up, which she reckons is 'ridiculous'.
A man who didn't want to be named said the cost of his fence and the appeals after being told to sort it out have risen to £3,720, which feels like a lot for a fence.
The local community has had a meeting about this fencing fiasco and apparently none of the local residents even seem to mind all that much.
"The fences don't look bad. If someone had made a fence out of crates you could understand. If people had been complaining to us we'd understand it, but we've not had anyone come to us. It doesn't make sense," said councillor Alan Morris.
"We are talking about a time where the council can't empty people's bins every couple of weeks but they are prepared to spend money taking action in this way against people with fences that are attracting very few complaints.
"It's a case of what the council sees as its priorities. I would rather see people prosecuted for anti-social behaviour and flytipping in Lliswerry than see people prosecuted for the height of their fences."
A council 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 then received a large number of complaints about differing types of means of enclosures for the boundaries of properties in the area.
"Each was investigated but only four were found to be in breach of planning legislation. As a result, enforcement notices were served in each case."
"Formal enforcement action is a last resort when negotiations have failed to resolve the breach of planning control. There is an independent appeal process for people who wish to challenge the notice or an application that has been refused.
"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."