I've been told to tear down my ‘alien’ fence by council but I refuse to follow order – it was built to protect my child | The Sun

A DAD has been told to tear down his "alien" fence by the council but is refusing to follow the order – saying it was built to protect his child.

Gary Tunley put up a 6ft metal wall in front of his home in Shouldham, west Norfolk.

He said social services told him to build the fence as a "matter of urgency" to protect his child, who has autism.

The dad also said that he even paid for the fence using a disability funding grant.

But the local council has now turned down Gary's retrospective application for planning permission.

A planning officer said: "The retrospective fence, being finished in a crisp white render, is an alien feature of Westgate Street.

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"It is contrary to the character and materials evident along this section of Westgate Street."

Gary explained that he built the fence to protect his child, and offered to plant a hedge in front so it blends in.

Three neighbours backed his application, saying that the street had a "mixture of styles, fences and hedges" and that the fence's white colouring would soften over time.

They added that the wall "has a new hedge planted in front of it which will soon cover the colour and soften the impact".

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None of Gary's neighbours objected to the fence.

But planning docs show that councillors "considered the situation and with the pillars still going to stand out saw no reason to remove their original objection".

Addressing Gary's efforts to protect his child, the planning officer said: "The personal circumstance of applicants is not a material planning consideration.

"The scheme is ultimately contrary to national and local
planning policies."

King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council ordered Gary to tear down the fence by December 27, the Eastern Daily Press reports.

But the defiant dad is now appealing the ruling – with the Planning Inspectorate set to make a decision in the coming months.

A couple fought their neighbour for ten years after he said they had the "ugliest fence ever" – before it ended tragically.

What is retrospective planning permission?

SOMETIMES a homeowner might make changes to their property without asking for planning permission.

It is legal to apply for planning permission retrospectively.

People who build a structure can apply for permission afterwards.

The council can ask the resident to retrospectively apply for planning permission for any completed work which needs it.

This normally happens when someone complains to the council about the new work.

The same considerations will apply and permission only granted if it is deemed suitable by the local authority.

Retrospective planning applications are not automatically approved – around one in five are turned down.

If the application is turned down, the homeowner may have to tear down whatever they have built.

But if it is approved, the retrospective planning permission is just as valid and legitimate as permission granted before building work starts.

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