The fence at Simon Barker's home in Magellan Way, Spalding, shortly after it was installed.

The ‘ugly’ £1,000 fence which councillors say must be altered

A new £1,000 fence due to be painted and have plants growing up it in an effort to improve the look of the neighbourhood must be altered, councillors have ordered.

Simon Barker extended the route of an original fence to enclose a piece of his land which kept attracting litter and animal excrement.
He had just finished putting up the new fence in Magellan Way, Spalding, when South Holland District Council officers arrived last November to say that it needed planning permission.

And last week councillors went against their officers’ recommendation and refused a retrospective application because the fence had been relocated nearer to the road and “reduced the amenity of the neighbourhood”.

The previous fence. (Photo: Google Earth)

The previous fence. (Photo: Google Earth)

Committee chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said: “It’s come so far forward that it’s become visually overpowering in that location, even if it were painted a different colour.”

Coun Bryan Alcock referred to its “ugliness” and added: “It’s the old adage that if you allow a couple of feet in this location [without planning permission], it could be a number of feet in another location.”

Mr Barker accepts that the current look of the fence, with its concrete posts, is not attractive.
He said: “We had agreed with the planning officer that it was going to be painted and that we were going to plant clematis to grow up it.
“It’s disappointing that despite [planning officer] Tracey Meachen and [planning manager] Paul Jackson supporting the application and Highways having no objection, it’s been turned down.”

Mr Barker, who runs a plumbing and heating business, says he was unaware of a covenant on the estate’s homes requiring fence alterations to have planning permission. He suspects other people have got away with them.

He added: “We felt that we were doing something to improve the neighbourhood because the land was used as a dumping ground for litter and shopping trollies and a litter tray for pets.
“With the right colouration and the right planting it would look quite nice, but there’s no point in doing that until we get planning permission.
“We’re not the first people on the estate to move a fence. It’s a shame that we’re being treated differently to everybody else.”

An objection to the planning application was received from 6 Cook Drive, claiming that the new fence impaired a clear vision of traffic in one direction.
Mr Barker is considering appealing the decision.

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