Structures, fences and piked soil

Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby Alan_N » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:34 am

Hi everyone. This is my first time posting so be gentle with me...
We share approximately 80ft of boundary with our neighbour (our fence replaced last summer a reasonable expense), which is half way a slope upwards between our garden and his, with around a 4ft difference between ground levels. Most of the fence is 3ft high, because then the top of the fence is about 5ft above our ground level. On his side there is bamboo planted by the previous owner (straight into the ground! but that's story) so the total height of screening from our side is around 10ft. That is the background.
Since he moved in around 3 months ago he has built a raised covered area 2ft from our boundary (which appears to be around 9ft to the eaves) put 6ft fence panels between the bamboo and our fence (screwing the posts and panels to our fence because to ground is to full of bamboo roots for him to dig proper holes) and piked soil up against other fence panels to try and raise the level of his ground.
We have tried approaching him about the issues but to no avail. He says he will deal with it but he has done nothing. In fact he is current piking more soil against the fence.
We have contacted planning about the structure and they are going to look into it for us but they have said the fence etc is a legal not a planning issue.
Where do I stand on this? I know it's classed as criminal damage to the fence, but I know the police won't be interested (and it would be a waste of their resources, I know). A solicitors letter is an expense that will probably prove useless, and I'm not really in a position to be able to take him to court. I feel at a loss. I can't go into his garden to remove the soil, I can't remove my own panels for treating, I'm just expected to watch my stuff rot!
As a side from this yesterday a hot-tub turned up which he has put just the other side of our boundary (around 6ft from our own quiet patio outside our conservatory) and had to listen to him 'bathe-ing' with his girlfriend until gone 11. I don't really care what he does, it just feels like he's in MY garden! We have been happy here for a long time, but now just feel invaded.
Thanks in advance to anyone who can help with my dilemma.
Alan_N
 
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Re: Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby mr sheen » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:56 am

It's sometimes hard to accept that neighbours have the rights to use every inch of their land as they wish; this is also your right. Neighbours often have BBQs, hot tubs, childrens trampolines etc etc that annoy neighbours but they can use them if they want to on their own land.

Criminal damage requires intent to cause damage and this is very difficult to prove and is usually not the intention in relation to neighbours....so is a non-starter.

If he is causing damage to your fence you have the right to complain. The complaint can take the form of speaking to someone and this is the best way to sort things out and maintain reasonable relations. Legal action is costly and unless your damages are substantial, going down the formal letter and solicitors letters and court is pointless.

Try to discuss the potential for damage to your fence with them and see if between you, a reasonable solution can be reached.
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Re: Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby Alan_N » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:12 am

Many thanks Mr Sheen. It's good to know the odds are still stacked in the bullies favour!
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Re: Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:24 am

Hi mr sheen,

Criminal damage requires intent to cause damage

no it doesn't - the Criminal Damage Act 1971 requires either evidence of an intent to cause damage or evidence damage was caused due to recklessness.

legal definition of "recklessness":

a person acts "recklessly" with respect to

(i) a circumstance when he is aware of a risk that it exists or will exist; or
(ii) a result when he is aware of a risk that it will occur;

and it is, in the circumstances known to him, unreasonable to take the risk.

In Booth v. Crown Prosecution Service (2006) the Divisional Court upheld the defendant's conviction on a charge that, by rashly dashing into the road, he recklessly damaged the vehicle that hit him because "the appellant was aware of the risk and closed his mind to it".

doesn't help the OP, mind, because I cannot imagine plod getting involved...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby stufe35 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:23 pm

Check your house insurance for legal cover
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Re: Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby despair » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:36 pm

Sorry you are in this pickle but in your shoes i would quite simply remove every single fence panel and stack them elsewhere

Detach anthing he has screwed to your fence posts and just stand by and let his land collapse

And be sure to have an incinerator or bonfire ready to light whenever life is destroyed by cavorting in hot tub
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Re: Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby Alan_N » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:47 am

Thanks Despair,

Unfortunately the wind Always blows in the wrong direction, and I don't really want his rubbish collapsing into my garden.

Local planning enforcement have gotten involved since (not actually from us, but someone else) so we will see where that leads.
Alan_N
 
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Re: Structures, fences and piked soil

Postby jonahinoz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:46 pm

Hi,

My understanding is that for Permitted Development, any outbuilding within one metre of a boundary must not exceed 2.5 metres high at any point. ( I haven't checked those facts). But height is measured from the highest point of adjacent ground. There may be some "enhancements" if the out building is not built from non-combustible materials.

Google OUTBUILDINGS PERMITED DEVELOPMENT

The Planners may be interested in any substantial variation of height of ground level.

If somebody else is making the running .... let them get on with it, saves all that "rolling in the gutter"

John W
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