Homeowner who replaced hedge around garden with 6ft fence told to remove it

A wooden panelled garden fence
The hedge was said to no longer protect the man's elderly mother from the sound and air pollution from the street (Image credit: Nock Deighton estate agents)

A man from Shropshire who removed a garden hedge and trees to install a wooden garden fence has been told it is illegal.

Mark Leighton failed to gain planning permission for the works to his mother's garden, but he claims the fence in its original form was unsafe as it didn't protect his mother from pollution from the road.

However, Telford and Wrekin Council told the man the fence was too high and didn't reflect the area, rejecting his retrospective permission and ordering it to be removed.

What type of fence did the homeowner build?

Mr Leighton put up 6ft wooden fence panels at the back of his mother's garden last year.

The wooden panels replaced an existing hedge and copper beech trees were also removed, as well as the stone wall the hedge lay on top of, however, planning permission for the fence was never gained.

A 6-foot garden hedge with a small brick wall underneath

A 6ft wooden panelled fence replaced a large garden hedge in Mr Leighton's mother's back garden (Image credit: Google Earth)

Son claims fence was needed to protect from pollution

Mr Leighton made this application as he claimed the trees and hedge did not provide adequate protection for his elderly mother from pollution from the street.

The garden, hedge and trees faced a busy road near Wellington Town Centre so the mother and son experienced a lot of traffic in their daily lives, which caused concern to Mr Leighton.

In his application form he stated: "The trees did not provide security for my elderly mother, who has breathing difficulties, or my dogs, and were no longer effective at creating a barrier to air pollution or sound pollution, caused by the traffic on Shawbirch Road, which has increased greatly since they were planted when the house was built."

A thin hedge in a back garden

The council said the replacement fence caused detrimental harm to the character and appearance of the street scene (Image credit: Telford and Wrekin Council)

Why was retrospective planning rejected?

Mr Leighton sought retrospective planning for the fence but these were rejected due to the fence being an "overly dominant, incongruous feature".

Telford and Wrekin Council stated: "The Local Planning Authority considers that the overall scale and design of the retrospective development, by virtue of the solid nature and height of the erected wooden fence, has caused a detrimental harm to the character and appearance of the street scene.

"The retrospective development fails to respect or respond positively to the context of the application site or surrounding area and has resulted in an overly dominant, incongruous feature, which is highly prominent within the street scene and causes a detrimental impact on nearby Local Interest Buildings."

Mr Leighton did not accept this decision and has appealed in an attempt to keep the fence.

Joseph Mullane
News Editor

News Editor Joseph has previously written for Today’s Media and Chambers & Partners, focusing on news for conveyancers and industry professionals.  Joseph has just started his own self build project, building his own home on his family’s farm with planning permission for a timber frame, three-bedroom house in a one-acre field. The foundation work has already begun and he hopes to have the home built in the next year. Prior to this he renovated his family's home as well as doing several DIY projects, including installing a shower, building sheds, and livestock fences and shelters for the farm’s animals. Outside of homebuilding, Joseph loves rugby and has written for Rugby World, the world’s largest rugby magazine.