Can this fence be raised?

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travispekka
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Can this fence be raised?

Post by travispekka » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:00 am

I'm looking for some thoughts and advice on the possibility of being able to raise the fence in this front garden.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/z2TNE5b4XyrPgByq5

The property in question is a ground floor flat, which is located in the front portion of a converted house and a small single story extension. This is not a new conversion, it's been like this for many years. The flat owns the thin lawn across the front and the square section at the side enclosed by fences. The side garden has 6ft fence, whereas the front area has 2-ish ft high fences.

Now what i wanted to do in my naivety was to raise the small fence in line with the side fence to provide privacy and security as it ground floor and on a corner and increase the useable private garden space as the side garden is only the depth of the extension. I wanted to do this across the front of the extension only not in front of the bay window.

I mentioned this to a friend the other day who said maybe there’s a reason the fence is small across the front and it then dawned on me that raising the fence may be an issue.

So after some research i believe that a planning application is required for any fence higher than 1m on a highway. Presumably the planners classify any road with vehicular traffic or a pavement a highway?

So initially what are the thoughts on getting a more suitable fence in this location approved?

I wouldn’t want to put in an application if it was not 100% guarantee of approval, because i have first hand bad experience of planners, even from initial discussions in the past on other properties. And i wouldn’t want them to question the 6ft fences around the side garden that have been there for decades. Not sure if technically they are ok or not. I'm guessing planners would be concerned about drivers view coming out of the side road on to the road in the front.

In the event that a higher fence is not going to be approved. Am i allowed to grow a 6 ft hedge? Can they ask for it to be cut down? Is a hedge a good alternative? If so is it possible to grow a 6 ft hedge and keep is narrow, no more than a foot or so deep (ie will it fall over) because the garden is only 2 metres deep across the front.

Any other thoughts and suggestions on my options would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any assistance and expertise.

Collaborate
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Re: Can this fence be raised?

Post by Collaborate » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:51 pm

The existing 6' fence is fine where it is. After 4 years the LPA loses the right to take enforcement proceedings.

You are correct that you can only raise the rest of the fence to 1m without PP. PP is unlikely to be granted owing to the need to allow road users sufficient visibility. Far easier to simply plant whatever hedge you like. They can't do anything about a hedge no matter how tall you grow it. I think given you're going to be staring out of your window looking at it I'd prefer the hedge to the fence any day.

IdefixUK
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Re: Can this fence be raised?

Post by IdefixUK » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:38 pm

Hello travispekka.

Whilst I agree with Collaborate's comments regarding the fences. I am less than convinced that the advice you have received about planting a new hedge on your land is correct.
Even if you decided to plant a hedge on your land, eventually you might fall foul of this.
Highways act 1980 says:-
154.Cutting or felling etc. trees etc. that overhang or are a danger to roads or footpaths.
(1)Where a hedge, tree or shrub overhangs a highway or any other road or footpath to which the public has access so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of vehicles or pedestrians, or obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp, [F1or overhangs a highway so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of horse-riders,]a competent authority may, by notice either to the owner of the hedge, tree or shrub or to the occupier of the land on which it is growing, require him within 14 days from the date of service of the notice so to lop or cut it as to remove the cause of the danger, obstruction or interference.

Regards

Collaborate
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Re: Can this fence be raised?

Post by Collaborate » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:15 pm

IdefixUK wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:38 pm
Hello travispekka.

Whilst I agree with Collaborate's comments regarding the fences. I am less than convinced that the advice you have received about planting a new hedge on your land is correct.
Even if you decided to plant a hedge on your land, eventually you might fall foul of this.
Highways act 1980 says:-
154.Cutting or felling etc. trees etc. that overhang or are a danger to roads or footpaths.
(1)Where a hedge, tree or shrub overhangs a highway or any other road or footpath to which the public has access so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of vehicles or pedestrians, or obstructs or interferes with the view of drivers of vehicles or the light from a public lamp, [F1or overhangs a highway so as to endanger or obstruct the passage of horse-riders,]a competent authority may, by notice either to the owner of the hedge, tree or shrub or to the occupier of the land on which it is growing, require him within 14 days from the date of service of the notice so to lop or cut it as to remove the cause of the danger, obstruction or interference.

Regards
In practice this only happens where the vegetation extrudes beyond the boundary.

travispekka
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Re: Can this fence be raised?

Post by travispekka » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:26 pm

My thoughts were if i needed to go down the hedge route that i would trim it fairly regularly (at least over the course of the lighter seasons) so that i could maximise the space inside the small garden and as such that would include the side of the hedge that would grown over the fence line.

IdefixUK
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Re: Can this fence be raised?

Post by IdefixUK » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:06 pm

I do appreciate that you would like more privacy in your property but, looking at the photos, I would say that ANY visual obstruction along the front of your property above one metre high is going to present problems for motorists using that junction. How will you feel in a few years time when there is a screech of brakes from outside and a child is injured, (or worse,) because a car driver couldn't see through your hedge and along the main road?
The regulations concerning fences limit the height close to highways at one metre, there is a reason for this....SAFETY.

Regards

mugwump
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Re: Can this fence be raised?

Post by mugwump » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:45 am

Screech of brakes as a car turns INTO a side road? It's a one way street. I don't think fence/hedge height would play any part in that scenario.

IdefixUK
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Re: Can this fence be raised?

Post by IdefixUK » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:42 am

mugwump wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:45 am
Screech of brakes as a car turns INTO a side road? It's a one way street. I don't think fence/hedge height would play any part in that scenario.
Well spotted, clearly I should have gone to Specshavers. You are right, IF everyone drives properly there should be no screeching of brakes.

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