'Slapdash' fence which 'caused blind corner' finally gets planning green light from councillors

A previous incarnation of the fence in Wiltshire Road, Skelton, objected to by neighbours
-Credit: (Image: Teesside Live)

A boundary fence which annoyed neighbours has finally been granted planning permission.

Gary Partlett sought retrospective permission for the fence outside his semi-detached bungalow in Wiltshire Road, Skelton, which is on the corner of a bend in the road. Residents had complained it was an “eyesore” and constructed in a “slapdash” fashion, while its height obscured the view of motorists navigating the bend.

Comments submitted to Redcar and Cleveland Council suggested it was “only a matter of time before a collision takes place or a pedestrian gets hit by a car”. The fence was described also as “changing the whole feel” of the estate, restricting the view along Wiltshire Road and making the corner “blind”.

The matter came up before Redcar and Cleveland Council’s regulatory committee a year ago, which deferred a decision so revisions could be considered to the structure. In finally granting planning permission, regulatory committee chairman Councillor Stuart Smith highlighted that there were other fences on the estate just as high and a partial trellis attached to it had now been removed.

Mr Partlett conceded when speaking at a meeting last year that the fence looked unsightly and he had “done his best to tidy it up”. He said he had never witnessed any near misses involving vehicles, contrary to accounts from objectors, nor did he have any problem reversing out of his home because of the fence’s presence.

The latest version of the fence
The latest version of the fence -Credit:RCBC

Members of the committee had requested the trellis be taken down and, separately, that measures could be potentially taken to slow traffic in the vicinity with the involvement of local ward councillors.

They said they were concerned at the unsightly nature of the fence due to its different heights and the partial trellis and understood the view of neighbouring households who were directly looking at it. The area on which the fence was sighted was also previously grassed and the fence had been added to over time and deteriorated as it was formerly varnished.

A report said: “The provision of a fence in this location continues to remain acceptable in principle.

“The fence raises no issues in terms of neighbour amenity or highways safety. The removal of the trellis has improved the appearance of the fence and the development does not have an adverse impact on the street scene.

“It is recommended that conditions be included to ensure that the fence is stained a dark oak colour within six months of the permission and that the posts be cut down to the height of the fence within the same six month period.”

A condition attached to the planning permission said the fence should not be altered in height or new materials incorporated into it.

Mr Partlett had told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he had reduced the height of the offending fence after a request from council planning officers. He also described how he had experienced issues with other members of the community in the area.

A previous assessment by the local planning authority said that while many homes in the area were either open plan, or simply had a small wall or fence to the front of their property, there were also examples of higher fences along Wiltshire Road and around corner properties.

It said the loss of a view was not a material planning consideration and referred to comments made by the council’s own development engineers, who said that there continued to be sufficient forward visibility around the bend at the Wiltshire Road/Dorset Road junction for drivers.

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