Fence height taken from where?

Fence height taken from where?

Postby Dylis » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:19 am

Hello,
Can anyone just give me some idea from where a fence height is measured from?
Entry to our front door is gained by steps going down from the higher level of the garden. Alongside our front door is a 3/4ft wall. If a fence of 2 metres was to be put up would the height of the fence be taken from the ground level or 2 metres from the top of the the 3/4 ft wall.
Thank you
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Re: Fence height taken from where?

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:30 am

Hi Dylis,

it's ground level.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence height taken from where?

Postby nigelrb » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:27 am

Agree. Which might be a problem for you if you're on the 'low side' of rising land. If you're thinking of adding trellis or lattice, that too, is deemed part of the fence.
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Re: Fence height taken from where?

Postby arborlad » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:35 am

Dylis wrote:Hello,
Can anyone just give me some idea from where a fence height is measured from?
Entry to our front door is gained by steps going down from the higher level of the garden. Alongside our front door is a 3/4ft wall. If a fence of 2 metres was to be put up would the height of the fence be taken from the ground level or 2 metres from the top of the the 3/4 ft wall.
Thank you




I have always used the definition - original, unaltered ground level, sometimes this can't easily be determined or is lost in the mists of time.

There seems to be a height difference between yourself and the adjoining owner, was yours lowered or your neighbours raised, the wall is probably a retaining one, is the top at original level?

A structure nearly ten foot high by your front door - are you sure?

Is there mention of this in your other thread/s?
arborlad

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Re: Fence height taken from where?

Postby Dylis » Sun Jan 22, 2017 2:01 pm

I'm sorry I haven't got back but Christmas, New Year and recovery from those took time...
Back to normal and decided to send a photo showing the new fence height by our front door. The height of fence itself is 1.8m but below it is another 90cm, on both sides of the fence, to ground level. More info and sketches to follow.
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Re: Fence height taken from where?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:22 pm

Hi Dylis,

all looks fine to me.

hope your Christmas and New Years activity was fun rather than just plain tiring :D

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Fence height taken from where?

Postby Dylis » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:40 pm

Have done two sketches, drawn to scale.
Our home is the one on the left, with the smaller garden.

Sketch no.2 is more to give a general overview intended to give a sense of scale and sizes of areas and features. Orientation is approx South at top & the lane on the left is approx East.

Sketch no.1 allows a little more detail to be seen & also has a cross-section at the bottom of the sheet, so that ground levels might be better understood.

Effectively, 98% of our neighbours garden lies approx 90cm below most of ours... apart from the raised bed that previously only had only a dense and over-height semi-evergreen hedge but now has an additional newly erected solid 1.8m fence.
There is a strip approx 1.2m deep of paving to the front of our house that is continuous in height to that of our neighbours garden, as it seems there was once a connecting walkway. When ownership of the two properties was partitioned, a 90cm high wall was later built there to block access... (which partially obstructs our surface water drainage; but that's another matter.)

Having thoroughly read up on the High Hedge Legislation, we realized that our neighbours hedge fell within the scope of this legislation by exceeding the maximum height by as much as 2 metres in places. It was causing a serious problem; entirely shading our garden on summer evenings, blocking the magnificent view, preventing air circulation, and plants affected were not thriving. As the local authority process required we first approach our neighbours and request they trim the hedge, we did so... by email, in an extremely polite and friendly manner. The rather curt reply that came a few days later informed us that contractors had already been booked, prior to our request.
A few weeks later, gardening contractors arrived and, amongst other tasks, just hacked odd bits off the hedge here and there without trimming it down to the max 2 metres. Very strange we thought, but it then gave us good reason to put the problem to the council.
Before we could do this though, other contractors arrived and installed a 1.8m high solid fence running just inches parallel to our low and pre-existing low open post and rail fence. The old fence can be seen in the photo, in front of the new fence.

Now, we of course are horrified that having politely informed our neighbours they were causing us problems with their hedge, they decided to magnify these problems by adding a fence. Thank God they didn't go the whole hog and build it 2 metres
It's looking pretty likely that there is no chance of ever getting this fence removed... but I'd love to hear from anyone that could give any hope.

Assuming it cannot be removed though... there are two issues about it that we could do with advice on.

The first is the height above ground level of the top of the fence where it runs up against the front wall of the building. The fence stands 1.8m above a 0.9m wall at this point, where the ground level both sides of the wall is the same. Just a short section of fence effectively above legal height, but right by the front of our house, blocking light to windows and the front door and towering above us. We presume we can insist this is reduced to max legal height.

The second relates to the legal max height of the fence being determined by the only tiny part of their entire garden (approx 2%) that sits almost a metre above the rest. Could it be reasoned that the max fence height should be determined by the other 98% of their garden rather than the raised bed?
This raised bed is a strip many metres long, by approx 2.5m by approx 0.9m high. It predates their new fence and previously, and usefully for them, had no other function other than it helped to raise the height of the evergreen hedge.

If we were given any optimistic advice, we'd take it to the council. But if we were to do so, it'd be better we were fore-armed with some definitive info.
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Re: Fence height taken from where?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:13 pm

Hi Dylis,

We presume we can insist this is reduced to max legal height

you presume wrong - on two counts.

1. there is no "max legal height"

you're probably referring to the fact that all 2m tall fences are automatically granted planning permission by the latest General Permitted Development Order (aka "Permitted Development").
but if I submit a planning application for a 10m tall fence and it is granted planning permission then I can have me a 10m tall fence


so the question is - does this fence breach planning law and therefore require planning permission, or does it meet the requirements for "Permitted Development"?
this is a question to put to your Local Planning Authority (the council).

2. even in the event the LPA consider it does breach planning law and so does not have planning permission your neighbour could choose not to apply for it.
this would leave your LPA with two options - either take enforcement action within four years of the fence going up (e.g. require the neighbour to remove fence) or not take enforcement action.
the LPA are not compelled to choose the former and instead put their limited resources to some other use.
failure to comply with any enforcement action is an offence and the neighbour would end up in court.

in all scenarios, though, you cannot insist anything at all (well you could but it'd be hot air).

The fence stands 1.8m above a 0.9m wall at this point, where the ground level both sides of the wall is the same

if that is the nature ground level (rather than as a result of landscaping) that makes that section 2.7m tall which is a clear breach of planning law so I'd ask the LPA to take a look.

Kind regards, Mac
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