Town council ordered to pull down steel fence

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Stamford Town Council will have to pull down an “eyesore fence” that it put up without planning permission after it lost an appeal.

On Wednesday, the Planning Inspectorate dismissed an appeal by the town council.

It applied for retrospective planning permission from South Kesteven District Council but was refused.

The 2.4m steel fence between Stamford Cemetery and a nearby playground, was put up in November 2014.

It cost more than £16,000 and the town council said it was in a bid to prevent vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

But it was described by residents nearby as “like living in a prison”.

The town council then submitted a retrospective planning application to the district council in February 2015, which was refused in October.

The district council said the fence was “detrimental to the visual amenities of the locality and out of keeping with the character of the area”.

Planning inspector Zoe Raygen in dismissing the appeal by the town council agreed, 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”.

Paul Oleksow, who lives in Elizabeth Road which faces the fence, this week welcomed the decision by the Planning Inspectorate.

He said: “We’re looking forward to being able to enjoy the pleasure of our garden once more.

“It’s a shame that the council went ahead with this project without having taken the time to seek the advice on the legal requirements covering the planning permission required for the fence and they also failed to consult the local residents for their views on the matter.

“They are now faced with the abortive costs for provision, removal and replacement of the fence and also the costs for the consultant in formulating the abortive appeal against South Kesteven District Council’s planning refusal.”

Stamford Town Council was invited to comment when the appeal decision was released on Wednesday morning. Town clerk Patricia Stuart-Mogg said a statement would be issued “as soon as the committee has had chance to view the appeal 
decision”.