Retaining wall fence height

Retaining wall fence height

Postby Crunkle » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:58 am

My neighbour dug out their garden to level it years ago, they put in a retaining wall to hold up my garden 1 foot above theirs. 60% of the wall is my side of the fence, but it is their boundary.

I wanted to install a new fence but they said they like the 3 foot one which offered no privacy at all, so I decided to put one on my side of the boundary fence. They're now jumping up and down saying it's measured from their side, I'm saying it's measured from my un-levelled side. But as the fence is on the retaining wall, does the retaining wall count as a wall, or the same level as my garden?

I say it's a 6 foot fence as I can just see over it on tip toes, they say it's 7 foot and illegal and want the fence taken down which I feel is unfair as they dug out their garden.

Also, who owns the wall on my side? As it's on my land, can I cut bits out so the fence post will fit?

Thanks for any advice.
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby despair » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:17 am

A fence or wall meausured from YOUR original ground level is totally legal up to 6ft6in high

It matters not that its 7 ft high to your neighbour because he has lowered his natural land level
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Crunkle » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:38 am

Hey despair, thanks.

We discussed this fence on here two years ago! I've only just got round to doing it! To be honest, it's gone more pear shaped than I ever imagined with numerous *mystery* men walking round with tape measures or loitering where I'm working trying to be intimidating. I was a little worried about being attacked so I set up a CCTV camera to keep an eye on things whilst I'm working, people generally behave themselves if they're on camera, well I hope they will!

I put up a 6 foot fence like ALL of the surrounding properties have in their back gardens, but they've got it in their heads it's too high and they're going to get it taken down. :roll:

North facing garden and neighbours ranting about a "Right to light", incidentally, they took down the 6 foot fence that was there, put in a 3 footer, I put in a 6 footer next to it, and my six foot fence is now supposedly too high and illegal!!! :roll:
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby despair » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:45 am

Tell them to naff off

Even if they do try complaining to Planning they wont do anything because its legal your side

They lowered their land levels its their loss
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Mattylad » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:08 pm

They cannot take it down, if it is on your land it is your property.
Also they cannot paint, stain or hang anything on it - nothing nil nada.

If they attempt to remove it get the police around, film it on your cctv etc.

Expect a call round from the council as they will likely put a complaint in, at which point you will point out that they lowered their land.

Your fence is fine.
Any comments I give here are my own opinions, for legal advise check with a qualified solicitor.
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby pilman » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:41 pm

I don't understand the word "legal" being used in this context.

In planning terms erecting a fence up to 2 metres high is permitted development.
Erecting 10 feet high fence is a breach of planning control, that can result in a Planning Enforcement Notice being served by the local planning authority claiming a breach of planning control and demanding that a planning application be made, which is likely to be refused on planning grounds as it probably will have an adverse effect on neighbouring property.

If a planning application was made and refused or if the terms contained in a Planning Enforcement Notice said that the fence had to be reduced in height to the maximum height of 2 metres allowed by the permitted development order, then that is all that can happen.

Screaming neighbours can do no more than inform the planning enforcement officer of the council that they consider the current fence exceeds the maximum permitted height above ground level.
As there is different ground level where this fence is erected, the height needs to be verified.

That may result in a visit from the Enforcement Officer to see if that officer considers there to have been a breach of planning control.
That is when you will know what to do, as the officer will express a planning judgement.

That is the worse case scenario. A visit by the enforcement officer who will explain what he/she considers to be the way to resolve any complaint that had been made to him/her.

Until that happens you should ignore any comments made by the neighbours, as what you do on your land is up to you unless it breaches planning control which is a matter to be decided by the Local Planning Authority and not be interfering neighbours.

I recently posted on this site that a "building" erected within 2 metres of a boundary can be 2.5 metres high under permitted development rights, so does a fence become a "building" when it has additional wooden posts erected to create a pergola that can no longer just be considered a fence.
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Crunkle » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:08 pm

I can see their point of view, but I can't live with this. They got used to a fence that should never have been put in in the first place.

They line up on their deck chairs right against the fence staring in all day long, they can (and do) look right into my lounge. I do feel a bit bad, but their hated for my fence is nothing compared to the hatred of not being able to use my garden in the summer. After years of me asking to replace the existing fence she said I could put up a 5 footer, then a few days later changed her mind and said 5 foot's too high and she wants it left as it is. I informed her I'm going to put up a 6 footer on my land, she walked off and we haven't spoken for almost a year. I don't think she expected me to do it.

The problem is that it's a north facing garden and they want the sun on the whole of the garden till the late evening.

If you want to see it, replace the (DOT) with a . as I can't post pictures. :( http://img685.imageshack(DOT)us/img685/4055/dsc011uhu.jpg
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Mattylad » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:02 pm

This looks familiar?
Did you also post on here last year?

Anyway, put your own fence on your side of the wall at whatever height (upto 2m) you want to.

Ignore them.
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Crunkle » Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:47 pm

I did. :lol:

Even though there was a compromise of a 5 footer, a few days later they changed their mind and wanted it left as it is because she *wanted the light*. We haven't spoken since.

I helped the previous owner dig the garden out, didn't know that they were planning to put up trellis.
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Crunkle » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:46 pm

Thanks everyone for your advice. 8)

How long generally does it take from complaint to the visit. Are we talking days or weeks?
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Crunkle » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:09 pm

despair wrote:A fence or wall measured from YOUR original ground level is totally legal up to 6ft6in high

It matters not that its 7 ft high to your neighbour because he has lowered his natural land level


What does "natural" ground level mean, is that the level of the hill before it was developed, or the level of the garden when it was sold?

It's on a hill, there's retaining walls all over the place. The house directly behind us is 5 foot higher than ours with a six foot fence on the retaining wall, she doesn't complain about that. :roll:
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Mattylad » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:59 am

It will be 2m from the original unaltered ground level.
I.E. your side.

If you want a high fence, put one in on your boundary.

You will however need to consider the effect of the fence in the wind pushing against the wall so may need to put plenty of concrete down the hole further into your garden so as not to affect the wall.

The last thing you want is for a storm to make it force the wall over, that can cost oodles to repair.
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby Crunkle » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:29 pm

Thanks fella, I've had a builder round and he says planning won't have a problem, but it's still quite concerning when my neighbour wants the my fence taken down at any cost. I think I might give planning a call myself, save waiting for a knock at the door.

For the first time since the trellis fence was installed I've been able to use my garden and it's bloody awesome! 8)
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby pilman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:57 pm

The Government grant planning permission in the following terms that the local planning authority have to accept.
Unless you are unclear about the words quoted below, why do you need the local planners to become involved.
General Permitted Development Order 1995
PART 2
MINOR OPERATIONS

Class A
Permitted development

A. The erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure.

Development not permitted
A.1 Development is not permitted by Class A if—
(a) the height of any gate, fence, wall or means of enclosure erected or constructed adjacent to a highway used by vehicular traffic would, after the carrying out of the development, exceed one metre above ground level;

(b) the height of any other gate, fence, wall or means of enclosure erected or constructed would exceed two metres above ground level;

(c) the height of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure maintained, improved or altered would, as a result of the development, exceed its former height or the height referred to in sub-paragraph (a) or (b) as the height appropriate to it if erected or constructed, whichever is the greater; or

(d) it would involve development within the curtilage of, or to a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure surrounding, a listed building.
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Re: Retaining wall fence height

Postby arborlad » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:30 pm

Crunkle wrote:My neighbour dug out their garden to level it years ago, they put in a retaining wall to hold up my garden .


That bit is correct, as they lowered their land, they are responsible for retaining yours.

60% of the wall is my side of the fence, but it is their boundary.


You shouldn't have allowed the wall to encroach onto your land.

I'm saying it's measured from my un-levelled side.


That bit is correct.

Also, who owns the wall on my side? As it's on my land, can I cut bits out so the fence post will fit?


If you can cut out part of the 60%, without harming the integrity of the 40% - probably!

I say it's a 6 foot fence


I call it a boundary feature too many.

Quite often, concerns over privacy can be addressed with something like a pergola, which can be placed just where needed, and set at an angle which will have the best effect, and not put your land at risk.
it is their boundary.
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smile...it confuses people
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