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Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Land, Registered Land, Planning law etc.

Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby diy » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:22 pm

If it's any consolation, i made an application to change the materials used in my boundary fence from 40cm brick plus 1.6m fence to mostly brick with a short fence at the same height. i was refused because Highway authority don't want anything adjacent to the road even if it's already there. I was allowed to repair and replace but not change.

My neighbour just went ahead and did it, he had no bother and this was a good 5 years ago. So now he can keep it.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby atticus » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:37 pm

I have had cases where neighbours, road users etc have complained, leading to enforcement action. These rules serve a road safety purpose.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby dls » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:38 pm

They certainly can, but in many many cases they are simply quite irrelevant to road safety.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby blig » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:24 pm

So it would seem reasonable that a means of enclosure exceeding 1m in height and located more than 2.4m back from the edge of the highway should not be considered "adjacent".


I seem to be answering the questions on this thread as "it depends" but this "reasonable" assumption isn't safe either. I know of at least one case where National Trust have a boundary alongside a main road (road and boundary both in a straight line) and the fence has to be much greater than the suggested 2.4 metres from the edge of the road.

It's complicated and talking to the local authority (or a local surveyor with highways knowledge) may really help. Other mischief includes raising the ground level of one side of the land at the boundary line so the fence is only one metre above that. This works in some cases, and in some cases a 1m high hedge that isn't cut back properly over time may help. I've also seen live bamboo used, which is a grass. It all depends what you hope to achieve ...
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby robinmasters » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:01 am

All,

Its true the question of what is adjacent is a fluid one. Given how subjective some of the decisions are, if not most of them, it seems odd that there seems to be little merit to appeal to the courts if the Independent Inspectorate rejected a planning appeal. I am not thinking of doing this, as it seems even the courts are not consistent and various judges have attempted to apply different frameworks at various times.

I can also see the merits of the rules, in fairness, though clearly some people try their luck and go without permission. Its a moral question whether that establishes whether the lesson is everyone should adopt that behaviour, or rather, we play by the rules and aspire to the environment we want to see.

Some background might be useful here. About 2months ago I returned from work and my wife mentioned that something odd had happened during the day. While washing up in the kitchen at the side of the house she saw a woman with a hoodie walking down the drive at the side of house - about 30 feet from the front opening to the road. The woman saw her and gestured and shrugged her shoulders seeming to ask something, so my wife directed her to walk back around to the front door.

On opening the front door, the woman was standing about 5 metres away, and asked for directions to 'Sunnymede Crescent'. Now, we live in a rural area and there isn't a Sunnymede Crescent type housing development for a long way. My wife said she was unable to help and the woman didn't enquire any further and just said ok and walked off to a car that my wife then noticed had been parked in the drive. There was a male with a hooded top sitting in the car.

Long story short - later that week we hear that on the same day a 60 year old man, living across the field, came home and found the same car parked in the drive. On questioning the woman said the car was overheating and she had taken it off the road. He asked her to move it off his property, which did, and he entered his house. Inside, he was confronted by a 6 foot male with a crowbar running down the stairs, a scuffle ensued and the man ran out and got in the car which sped off.

So, basically, we avoided being burgled by a cats whisker. Cue thoughts about my 11 year old daughter who comes home from school to an empty house, and then thoughts about getting higher fencing, gates etc. Not to mention thoughts about how you try and do the right thing, while some thinks its easier to rob you than get a job themselves.

That's how I got to where I am. I accept that there is a limit to how much I can secure my house, and I will probably have to settle for a 1 metre high gate which at least will prevent someone from entering the property by car, and relatively narrow lane outside means a potential intruder wont really have any nearby parking options.

The only remaining fly in the ointment is that I paid £4.8k deposit (about half) for a 4.2 metre wide gate, for which I have a proforma invoice. Its not been progressed yet, so I will speak to the chap about getting a smaller gate made, which hopefully he can do, otherwise I might have to have a tricky conversation about getting my deposit back - not always easy with traders.

So, quite a few lessons here, perhaps think about security and fencing possibilities when buying a house, realise the limitations of planning law may restrict you, check planning rules before taking decisions about fencing and gates as they impinge more than one might think, and perhaps I suggest you always maintain a healthy scepticism of people knocking at your door or turning up unexpectedly with what might sound like plausible reasons, as they may sound credible right up until they have established its safe to break into your home.

There is at least a silver lining to this story. The police managed to catch the man, through his DNA which he had left at the scene.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby diy » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:45 am

Cctv will cost less than a fence a be a better deterrent.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby atticus » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:41 am

A big fence might provide cover for burglars.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby robinmasters » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:42 am

Thanks gentleman, for the constructive suggestions.

On CCTV, I looked into the effectiveness of this, and as an outcomes scientist, take an evidence based approach. The published evidence suggests that CTTV does not reduce crime levels where installed, except in public car parking spaces. In many burglaries, the intruders just wear hoods and baseball hats, and look down when staking out the property. If the cameras are too high, they capture the top of their heads. There have also been cases where the intruders remove the hard drives during the robbery. Nevertheless I have had CCTV quotes have some in for a 6-8 camera system in the region of £2.5 - £3k, though a dummy system will provide the same deterrent benefit for a 10th of the cost. Evidence aside, I agree, there is little to lose by putting in basic system.

I agree also that a high fence could provide cover for the determined burglar, who having gained access has more liberty to operate.

A neighbour of mine has 2 large dogs that live in a kennels in his grounds and roam around his property. I've never had dogs and its an encumbrance but I am thinking about that.

All in all, this kind of crime is fairly rare and rates are down 71% since 1995 (reference Crime Survey of England and Wales).

Interestingly, I had the gate installer around this morning and he has experience of installing these day in, day out. In his experience, councils take action where someone complains, but council officers have said to him they are not concerned where no one complains.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby atticus » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:06 pm

So don't piss off your neighbours.
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Re: Varying Height Boundary Fence - Simple or Not Simple?

Postby diy » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:43 am

You don't need 6-8 cameras, you need 2 - one visible on the approach one internal. Current cams film in utra HD or HD and the software that comes with them (e.g. synology surveillance station) allows some very sophisticated options (for example alerting you only when movement is detected in a certain part of the camera's view). Power over ethernet (e.g. hikvision £100-145 each), connected to a home NAS, synchronising to a secondary encrypted cloud drive. change from £800 including the server (which is around £400), which you can use for many other things (streaming music, movies, backing up photos). If you are going to have them recording to a DVR then I agree its pointless. You can actually get cheaper options which use wifi and stream to your phone. I installed mine for £300 - two cameras, some cat-6 and an 8 port PoE switch. I already had the servers.

Scumbags can spot a dummy cam easily. For a start they tend not to have an IR glow at night. Advice is have them installed about 7-10 feet up. You should never look at home security with the view that one thing will work over another. Its very much about a combination of deterrents, some visible, some hidden.
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