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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My neighbour wishes to erect a 2 metre fence all the way

Customer Question

My neighbour wishes to erect a 2 metre fence all the way around his front garden. I live in a bungalow which is part of a group of 4 detached bungalows and 1 house. In front of the properties is a footpath, then a service road, another footpath with grass verges, then a dual carriageway, leading to the same over the other side of the road.
The properties enjoy an Open Plan aspect to their frontages, although small walls,railings and fences (1 metre or less) have been erected (myself included). However, the Open Plan aspect is still maintained somewhat.
They have a 1 metre fence already and gates, and there is planting of conifers to the front and alongside the other neighbour boundary, but not my side, as that is where they have their driveway. These trees are about 1.5 metres high at present but not thickened with age.
Their reason for erecting a 2 metre fence is to deter intruders, albeit that they have an alarm and CCTV fitted, and 2 metre spiked fences to the rear of their property.
It is my opinion that such fencing would not deter would-be criminals, but in fact would be an advertisement to them to say the property might have something of worth that the owners are endeavouring to overprotect. An attraction such as this makes me feel vulnerable as I am an 87 year old widow living alone.
My concern is that apart from it being unsightly, and not in keeping with the other properties, not only in my row of residences, but along the whole road in general, there would be, in my opinion, a safety issue. They keep and use quite a number of cars on their frontage, and I believe that their line of sight with regard to pedestrians using the footpath and vehicles using the service road, would greatly be reduced and the risk of accident greatly increased.
I am not sure, as well, if planning permission needs to be obtained.
I have tried to talk to them about it, but they are difficult people to deal with, as similar issues have arisen in the past.
For your information, although not directly associated with this issue, they have made a substantial amount of alterations to the property (a detached bungalow), by means of extensions, both to the back and front, and to the loft space; one of the extensions having walls within inches of my conservatory windows, which has required me to black out my windows with paint to obliterate the sight of brickwork directly in front of them. However planning approval was given on that occasion.
I should like to know what rights of objection I may have (if any) and what I can present to them by way of reasonable argument against such a fence erection, and also what legal requirements they would need to abide by.
Thanking you in anticipation
Mrs J Walker
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

Are there any covenants on the property not to have hedges or fences or satellite dishes or anything like that? If so, can you please confirm that you have complied with all of those, not just the fence one?

Please confirm that the front proposed fence is adjacent to the highway.

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I will have to check my deeds relating to any covenant and will get back to you. (It will be tomorrow now).The proposed fencing WILL be adjacent to, initially the footpath, then the single carriageway service road.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 16 days ago.

They will need planning permission for a 2m fence adjacent to the highway. Come back to me after you have looked at the deeds.

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I have now checked my deeds and the only document I can find relating to road frontages is a Lease document which gives a number of conditions relating to the upkeep of the property dated 13 Aug 1957, when the properties were constructed. It has a Land Registry stamp dates 31.10.1991. Paragraph 15 states
"To erect and forever after maintain on the road frontages of the said land good and substantial dwarf brick or stone walls with piers on either side of the entrance gate to such dwelling-house and on all other sides of the said premises as indicated by an inward "T" on the said plan a good and substantial fence of a type and material in all respects to be approved by the Lessor or its Surveyor for the time being and it is hereby agreed and declared that any housewall dividing the messuage or dwelling-house hereinbefore covenanted to be erected from any adjoining messuage or dwelling-house shall be a party wall and repairable and maintainable at the joint expense of the parties affected thereby.I await to hear from you further.
Juanita Walker
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
I have not received an answer to the above extra information you asked me to supply.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 8 days ago.

I apologise for the delay. For some reason, this only came into my inbox as waiting, this morning.

The deeds wording doesn’t add anything or take anything away from my original answer. Kind regards.

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