Neighbour found planning bid of-fence-ive

A fence row has divided neighbours in Jedburgh after the structure was constructed without planning permission.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 12:53 pm
The neighbour says the fence would be better suited to an industrial estate.
The neighbour says the fence would be better suited to an industrial estate.

Robert McKenzie removed a hedge marking the boundary between his property, known as Mayfield, in Sharplaw Road, and his neighbour Stephan Barker’s home.

A timber fence was then constructed in its place.

But Mr Barker labelled the fence unsightly, too high and of a poor design.

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Mr McKenzie, who was unaware he needed planning approval to carry out the work, subsequently submitted a retrospective planning request to Scottish Borders Council for the removal of a hedge and the erection of a timber fence in its place.

Now the council has approved the planning bid but the height of the offending fence – and a side fence which was also constructed – must both be reduced from two metres to one metre high.

Mr Barker said: “It seems strange to receive notification for a planning application when the work has been completed.

“Early in 2021 the hedge was removed completely from the boundary between my house and Mayfield.

“The word hedge doesn’t fully describe this narrow piece of natural woodland with mature trees and bushes. Removing this has destroyed the natural habitat for many species of wild birds.

“Next was the construction of a fence fronting on to Sharplaw Road and later another fence was constructed separating the front garden of Mayfield from my garden. This was completed in July 2021 after which I made a complaint to Scottish Borders Council.

“Not only is the new fence double the height that it should be, as it approaches the road the height increases to two metres, it looks unsightly and does nothing to enhance the property. Many passers-by have remarked how dreadful it looks. It doesn’t fit in a rural location and detracts from the Scottish Borders ambition to be a National Park. Perhaps it would be more fitting as the boundary to an industrial estate.”

In his report recommending approval, Euan Calvert, the council’s assistant planning officer, says: “To reconcile the situation I have invited reductions in heights. The amended plans will ensure this scheme is acceptable in future.”