Defining garden land from agricultural land

Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby hartley44 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:56 am

Is there anything I can read with reference to wether we have to put up a fence/ hedge to define the two separate land areas? We bought a derelict property and replaced it with a new house. We moved the curtlege back a very small amount to accommodate the house and all this was done with planning. We now have the enforcement officer telling us that we 'have to' put up a fence of hedging to define the garden from the agricultural land. We bought the property and land in 2010 and have been keeping the agricultural land cut down to look tidy for over 4 years. There is a defining grass colour between garden and land so the definition is there. Do we have to fence this off. We are obviously worried about have an enforcement slapped on us if we say no. Do they have the right to make us define this land?
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:04 pm

Hi hartley44,

I don't think they can make you define the land by forcing you to erect boundary features.

however, what I think you're missing is that you appear to have been using some agricultural land as an extension to the garden attached to your house - this means the use of the land has changed and that requires planning permission.

the enforcement officer has advised you to erect the fence because doing so would cut the land off from your garden and so it would be difficult to argue it is part of your garden - and so no breach of planning has occurred.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby hartley44 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:34 pm

Hi Mac,
Thanks for your prompt reply. When we applied for the house we applied to get the curtlege moved slightly back so that we had two clear metres as per planning rules. This was accepted . We now have a small garden area plus the agricultural land beyond which makes it all 'look' like garden even though we do not use it as such, apart from keeping it cut low. We know that neighbours were against the house(even though it replaced a rat infested derelict property) as they don't like change, so somebody has obviously complained about the land being mowed!
The enforcement officer has written ' there is no boundary treatment seperating approved garden and adjoining agr. land as provided under approved drawing no:xxxxxx, please arrange for suitable boundary to be erected along the prescribed domestic boundary. This could consist of hedge, trees, fencing or a combination'.
Our question is, do we have to put a defining fence? Can they make us put one up? Is there any ruling to say yes or no? Can we read up on some planning site? If we do have to do the job, can we just put in some small sticks with rope or wire fencing etc. or does it have to be 'animal proof'? Any time scales we could argue on constant use or cutting.?
We had such a large problem with planning building this house as a small part of garden is in conservation and the rest is just green belt land. All down to neighbours!!! They need to get a life! Getting really frustrated now as this has gone on for nearly 3 years, but the land defining issue was mentioned about a year ago but not followed through until now.
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby span » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:50 pm

hartley44 wrote: as provided under approved drawing no:xxxxxx,



Explain this bit please.
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby hartley44 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:02 pm

Hi Span, the xxx was just our planning references.
We have a very wide plot but not extremely deep and planning was given for a replacement detached house, plus retrospective permission for change of use of land to extend domestic cartilage(only 2/3m) There were conditions attached, but non of them stated that we had to erect anything to define the garden area from the farm land behind. The land is only cut and never played on or used and we do not have any swings or garden seats or anything on the land. The dogs run on it sometimes n that's all. The enforcement officer seems to be relying on plans that show squiggles on the 'boundary' but do not specify hedging or boundary, so it is important to know whether we have to put up a boundary fence by law. Have tried to check on planning site, but does not help. Have thought of speaking with the planners but they always stay on the side of caution and tell you what suits their policies. Can the enforcement officer slap an enforcement on us to 'make' us put up a fence/hedge. Is there some defining statement somewhere that indicates they can?
Thanks
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:59 pm

hartley44 wrote:Can an enforcement officer make you put up a hedge or fence to define the garden land from a paddock that joins it? Is there a specific ruling that I can read to see if we can leave the land area open. We do not use the paddock area as garden, but we do keep the grass cut down? Can they slap an enforcement on us to do the work? We have nothing in our planning permission(built house and took 2/3m to extend curtlege all passed in planning) stating we have to put up defining fence/hedge. Please advise where I can get more information. Thanks.

Hi hartley44,

hope you don't mind, I've lifted your question from the new thread you'd started as I didn't think it would sit out of place on here (you can delete your other thread if you get to it within the hour, or else ask Admin to do the honours).

to answer your question - the enforcement officer will not ultimately decide whether a lack of a fence is a breach of planning law.

if they do issue you with an enforcement notice you can appeal to The Planning Inspectorate and the case will be decided by someone qualified (rather than a LPA lacky) or you can ignore it and be taken to court.

if the approved plans show squiggly lines where on the ground one would expect to see a boundary feature then I have to ask - what do you imagine those squiggly lines to represent?

bear in mind that they couldn't possibly have been plotted to indicate a change in grass colour unless that was specifically outlined in the proposal...

in your shoes I would make the minimum fuss, agree with the officer that the plan does show a boundary feature, and then erect myself a 9" fence with a wide double gate that is kept permanently open. ;)

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby pilman » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:55 pm

The first thing to be done if I were to attempt to answer the question posed would be to look at the approved drawing and read the conditions on the decision document that relate to the permission granted.

What appears to be the current situation is that the agricultural land has had a change of use because no agricultural activity is now being undertaken.

Taking a hay crop from farm land every few months is an agricultural use of the land, whereas regularly mowing the grass to give the appearance of a cultivated lawn is not.

It is not being used as agricultural land.
The lack of visual separation between what is used as garden with planning permission and the land now used for domestic purposes, that does not have planning permission would be clearly apparent to anyone visiting the property.

I think the letter asking for a fence to show the separation is a better option, rather than a request for a retrospective planning application for a full change of use to be approved, which would seem unlikely to be successful from what was said about green belt land.

If erecting a fence, or, more sensibly, planting a quick set hedge would keep the Enforcement Officer happy and off the land-owner's back, then I know what I would do.

To defy that request would in my view be silly, because on the posted facts this is very obviously an attempt by the land-owner to make all the land appear as part of the house garden without the benefit of planning permission.
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby stufe35 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:27 pm

Clearly one of your neighbours is on your case and is going to keep dobbing you in. Easiest solution would seem to be to erect a fence of some kind...but there are many options..as mentioned wide gates you can swing open in the evenings or at weekends....or even a section with posts dropped into sockets so you can lift them out if you have an event on and want to spread into the field.

As i understand it, occasional use of your field for domestic purposes represents no crime....farmers let their kids race round on quads and scramble bikes or put up marquees for weddings without it being problem it seems.

Keep mowing your field it's not illegal . Eventually the neighbour will leave or snuff it, and it will be your extended garden if that's what you want.
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby ukmicky » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:13 pm

Just put a little fence up . It does not have to be anything special and it can have a gate in it to allow access onto the agricultural land . Why argue over something that can be done cheaply and will get everyone off your back. And yes it can be a simple post and rail design.

You can maintain the agricultural land by occasional cutting back of any overgrowth.


Why don't you get some chickens ,just keep it fox proof
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby Clifford Pope » Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:17 pm

ukmicky wrote:,just keep it fox proof



Just put up heavy duty wire mesh fencing around the perimeter and overhead, and bury the wire at least three feet deep, :)
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby jdfi » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:04 am

ukmicky wrote:Just put a little fence up . It does not have to be anything special and it can have a gate in it to allow access onto the agricultural land . Why argue over something that can be done cheaply and will get everyone off your back. And yes it can be a simple post and rail design.

You can maintain the agricultural land by occasional cutting back of any overgrowth.


Why don't you get some chickens ,just keep it fox proof


Or something like ostriches or alligators: I expect the neighbour wouldn't like non traditional farm animals!
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby Morgan Sweet » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:45 am

First of all I am no expert in these situations but I have provided demarcation of a similar situation with an electric fence with green stakes, hardly notices at all. Most traditional hedges take years to grow to become stock proof and domestic garden hedges can be poisonous to live stock. Council planner man thought what I had done was acceptable.
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Re: Defining garden land from agricultural land

Postby arborlad » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:34 am

BUMP :?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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