Council ‘disappointed’ fence appeal dismissed

The steel security fence that has been erected by Stamford Town Council behind the houses on Elizabeth Road. Photo courtesty of Paul Oleksow. EMN-141028-093734001
The steel security fence that has been erected by Stamford Town Council behind the houses on Elizabeth Road. Photo courtesty of Paul Oleksow. EMN-141028-093734001
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Stamford Town Council says it’s ‘disappointed’ that an appeal to keep a fence at Stamford Cemetery has been refused - but the future of the fence remains unclear.

The Planning Inspectorate dismissed an appeal by the town council to keep the 2.4m steel fence on Wednesday, March 11.

The town council was invited to comment at the time and again repeatedly last week. The council eventually responded with a statement issued on behalf of the council by the clerk on Tuesday.

The statement said the council accepted the fencing was “0.4m above the permitted 2m height” but says it “did so for the very best of intentions which has already been proved to have resolved the majority of problems which were being experienced in the cemetery”.

The town council said the fence was put up as a result of the previous fencing being “breached” and resulting in “significant levels of vandalism, fly-tipping and grossly anti-social behaviour with consequential complaints being lodged by both local residents and visitors”.

The statement added: “Given just three objections were lodged the town council is consequently disappointed that the application was refused and the appeal dismissed.

“Subsequently, the town council has consulted with the enforcement officer and will now ensure the relevant fencing will be rendered fully compliant with planning requirements.”

The Mercury responded to the clerk asking for clarity on whether the fence would be removed or lowered and did not receive a response.

A spokesman for South Kesteven District Council, which is responsible for enforcement, said: “We have not yet received notification from the town council with regards their plans for the site.”

The fence was put up in November 2014, at a cost of more than £16,000. Retrospective planning permission was refused in October 2015 - eight months after it was applied for.

Planning inspector Zoe Raygen in dismissing the appeal, saying in her determination that it was “austere and harsh” and was “very visible” to nearby residential streets.

It said the “fence causes considerable harm to the living conditions of the occupiers of the properties on Mountbatten Road, Elizabeth Road and Trinity Road that back onto the cemetery”.

She also said she did not believe the erection of the fence had resulted in a significant decrease in anti-social behaviour and said she had seen evidence of fly-tipping on her site visit. And she added that although the town council had offered to lower the height of the fence, this would “not overcome any significant concerns regarding the impact of the fence”.