Simon Barker with the fence at the centre of the controversy.

Planning appeal lost but Spalding fence owner vows to fight on

The owner of a fence who has lost an appeal against refusal of planning permission is vowing to fight on.

A planning inspector has told Simon Barker that his £1,000 fence at 24 Magellan Way, Spalding, has a “harmful effect on the character and appearance of the street scene” and therefore contravenes policies in the South Holland Local Plan.

The previous fence. (Photo: Google Earth)

The previous fence. (Photo: Google Earth)

Dismissal of the appeal upheld a decision by South Holland District Council’s planning committee in February to refuse retrospective permission for relocation of the fence. Mr Barker lengthened it to enclose a small extra parcel of his land which had attracted litter and dog mess. The fence was labelled “ugly” when councillors went against their officers’ recommendation to grant permission.

This week Mr Barker said: “I was hoping that the planning inspector would overturn the decision but sceptical whether they would.”

In light of the decision, it has been suggested that he writes to the council again as there might still be a case to argue.
Since the appeal was made, it has come to light that planning permission was granted in 2001 to the owners of neighbouring 22 Magellan Way for a similar fence relocation.

The planning inspector said in his ruling: “In my view, given the predominantly open plan character of this part of the estate, the existing fence appears as an excessively long, unrelieved feature in the street scene at what is a prominent corner location.
“In my view, the complete enclosure of the area with the fence significantly detracts from the pleasant open plan character of this part of the estate.
“There are many similar existing areas in the vicinity of the site which although not set away from the front of the house as is the case here, nevertheless appear to be successfully maintained either as grass or planted areas. In my view, the painting of the fence or the provision of further climbing plants would not satisfactorily mitigate for the loss of open space that is a particular feature of the wider street scene.”

Mr Barker says one of the original objectors in Cook Drive has since formally retracted their opposition.

One comment

  1. The trouble is that back in the 1970’s when many Spalding Estates were built there were deliberately, as part of the planning application, spaces and areas of green land left to both enhance the area and also in many cases to provide better visibility round corners etc. These areas were never formally adopted by the Council, some were beautifully maintained, and others weren’t. What appears to have happened over the years, and this is just one example of many is that as original owners died or moved on the collective memory of these spaces disappeared, and new owners have effectively “land grabbed” and then fenced round them. The result is that some people have significantly increased their available garden space, whilst depriving the locality of not only a safer visual aspect but also a refreshing green area to open up an estate. The Council has to take some ownership of this, in many cases it is far too late and the damage has been done. I doubt that there would be the time, money or inclination to go back to the original plans to see what was intended and re-instate it, but the lesson needs to be learnt for the future especially with the number of new estates with such green areas in them

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