Update 30 November 2013
The result of the Appeal was published on 28 November 2013.  The inspector has allowed the appeal on the basis that the fence, when considered in the context of the very local setting, is not intrusive on the street scene.  We were pleased to note though that he agreed with our suggestion that the fence should be kept painted dark green or dark brown in order that it blend in with the surroundings.  Although perhaps not ideal, this is a reasonable solution to the problem.  The full text of the inspector’s report can be found here.

Update 1 November 2013
We think a site visit by the Inspector will take place shortly, following which the result of the Appeal will be announced

Update 25 July 2013
Following the recent refusal of the retrospective application for the fence in the front garden, the applicant has appealed.
Objections can be sent to the Planning Inspector here, (scroll down until you see 'comment on case').  Objections must be submitted before 30th August. We have asked that should the Inspector uphold the Appeal then it be on condition that the fence be kept dark brown or green for its life and that a screen of plants also be maintained for its life.

The Council recently (15th April) decided to Refuse the application to retain the front and side boundary fences.  The formal notice stated the following reason for Refusal:-

The retention of the fence to the front and side of the front garden, by reason of the inappropriate size, scale and design creates an intrusive feature on the surrounding streetscene that is not in keeping with the character of the surrounding area, contrary to Policies BE1 and BE7 of the Unitary Development Plan.
The Council's report on the matter stated:-

The applicant has stated that it was necessary to extend the height of the fence in order to improve privacy and security.

Nearby owners/occupiers were notified of the application and representations were received from [a nearby resident] which can be summarised as follows:

  • The dimensions are inappropriate and are detrimental to the character of the streetscene.
  • The design and detailing is not in keeping with character of the surrounding area.
  • Enquiring about consultation to relevant parties.

The Ravensbourne Valley Preservation Society made the following comments.

  • The fence is intrusive. Residents objecting due to the size and scale.
  • Would be satisfied with a boundary treatment of a reduced height.

Planning Considerations
The application falls to be determined in accordance with the following policies of the Unitary Development Plan and the London Plan:

BE1 Design of New Development
BE7 Railings, Boundary Walls and Other Means of Enclosure

Planning History
None relevant.

The main issues in this case are the impact of the boundary fencing on the character of the surrounding area and on the amenities of the occupants of adjacent residential properties.

The application site was visited by the case officer and the aims and objectives of the above policies, national and regional planning guidance, all other material planning considerations including any objections, other representations and relevant planning history on the site were taken into account in the assessment of the proposal.

The fence by way of its size and scale is not in keeping with the character of the surrounding area. There is an existing boundary wall along the boundary that affronts onto the highway. This is 1.220 metres in height and to add another fence that is 1.635 metres in height on top forms a boundary of nearly 3 metres in height. To have such a boundary treatment on the front of the property forms an intrusive feature on the streetscene. This is reinforced by the fact that no other properties along the street have constructed boundary treatments of such proportions. 

The design of the fence through the choice of material and detailing is also not in keeping with the character of the surrounding streetscene. Boundary treatments of neighbouring properties have generally been constructed from brickwork, railings and hedges. There are no apparent timber fences of such a height along the street.

Having had regard to the above it was considered that the development is an inappropriate enclosure through its large scale and bulk that adversely impacts on the character of the surrounding townscape and is of a design not in keeping with the surrounding streetscene, thus contrary to the objectives of Policies BE1and BE7 of the UDP.

Consideration will need to be taken as to the expediency of Enforcement Action and it may be considered that this proposal is of an inappropriate size, scale and creates an intrusive feature on
the surrounding street scene, contrary to Policies BE1 and BE7 of the Unitary Development Plan.

Application Refused

As a result, the owner now has the choice of either Appealing this decision, which must be done within 12(?) weeks or removing the fence.