Council comes off the fence and lifts threat of legal action against home owner

THREATS of legal action against a man who built a high fence to stop noise and anti social behaviour from people hanging about around a neighbouring shop have been lifted.

Fenland District Council Planning Committee has torn up the threatened enforcement action and approved plans for the 1.8 metre high fence at 53 Badgeney Road, March, adjacent to a local Co-op.

The fence had been erected by Mark Driver without planning consent and enforcement officers from Fenland Council put together a report which could have led to his prosecution.

However Council Leader Alan Melton requested the committee to “assess the impact of the fence upon the street scene”.

Councillors went off to take a look for themselves and last Wednesday agreed not only to remove the legal threat but to grant Mr Driver retrospective consent for the fence.

Ironically the council had first refused the application for the fence two years ago- a decision upheld on appeal to a Government Inspector in November 2008.

Officers claimed the fence “remains unacceptable in visual terms” and urged the council to insist that Mr Driver lowers it to one metre or less. They claimed the fence “by reason of its poor appearance, intrusive dominance and scale” has a detrimental impact.

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March Town Council had recommended it be approved- a view now shared by the planning committee.

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