How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

On Tuesday 17th November a large harris fence was erected

Customer Question

Hi, on Tuesday 17th November a large harris fence was erected on the common. My house is about 20 meters away from the common and overlooks this lovely area which I paid a premium for the view. I approached one of the men on site to ask them what they were doing and was told that they were erecting a childrens play park. At no point previous had the parish council advised anybody in the surrounding area of this fact. I have checked their minutes and talked to the editor of the local newspaper who said that they had plans to revamp the existing play park but nothing about moving it from a nice secluded part of the common to the edge near our houses. They did not require planning permission for this as none of the play areas are over 12 meters. I have approached the council about this but they said it was well documented. The first I saw of the plans was when the layout appeared in the free local magazine which was delivered to my house the day after the building commenced. There are two towers with slides measuring 12 meters high and a 20 ft zip wire so not your traditional swings and slide etc. I spoke to a few estate agents who advised that because my house is only a one bed, my target market will be professional singles, retired singles or 1st time buying couples so this play park will make it considerably more difficult to sell and will effect the selling price. All in all, do I have a case against this parish council? One other point is that they are building this on the lowest point of the common which floods regularly and was once a pond but obviously as they didn't need planning they have not realised this. Also a few of my neighbours with children are unhappy that this play park has been sited next to a busy country lane where is is renown for speeding drivers and also just down from the main road into Guildford which could attract bad people! Is there anything I can do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you,
Have you complained to the council yet please? If so, what have they said?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The council said that they had given prior notice and have been in consultation with people from our area plus there were press releases but no one knows anything about it. We all thought that the existing play park was being revamped not moved to a different location on the common near to a busy road and private dwellings. The local paper said there is one lady with children who moved to the area just recently but that is all who was in contact with the council regarding her childrens requirements. I have asked the council to show me where it was advertised but they have failed to respond. It was never documented in their minutes either. Also I spoke to the editor of the local paper who confirms that this play park was never advertised to be re-sited but only revamping the original site.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Ok, you should write to the Chief Officer of the Council and make a formal complaint. That complaint will be investigated by the Office and you will get a formal response. If you are not happy with that response then you can complain to the Ombudsman.
They offer a free, independent service at:
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. Do you mean the county council and not the parish council? I have been told that there is nothing we can do against the parish council, it would have to be something that the district or country council have done.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Thats predictive text for you - yes the CC.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have just spoken to the county council and it is not there issue. I contacted the LGO and they do not take any action against parish or town councilors only county council and said that the only way we can do this is to take legal action ourselves so this is why I needed the advice of a solicitor to tell me if this case was worth pursuing.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You only option is then a Judicial Review. This is where a Court examines the decision of a public body (Council) and decides whether its legal and reasonable. A Judge can either agree with the decision or send it back for further consideration.
If there has not been adequate consultation that is ground enough for the Review, or if they have failed to take into account views, again that is a ground.
For more information on the Review please see:
Can I clarify anything else for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. So do my neighbours and I have to do this through a solicitor or can we apply to the courts ourselves for a judicial review? Also, they did not require planning permission as the height of the play ground is not over 4 meters but the main thing is there was not prior consultation, so we have a case right?
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You can apply this yourself, although a Solicitor is recommended. I think you have a case yes based on what you have told me
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Happy to help.
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
If the system won’t let you please click reply.
Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: