Jenn Patterson put up a new garden fence – only to be told she had to take it down.
The Linthorpe resident erected the 1.8 meter timber fence at her semi-detached home but was forced to put in a retrospective planning application for permission to keep it up.
Middlesbrough Council chiefs took a dim view of the new addition to the Cambridge Road though, saying its design was “completely alien” with the rest of the road.
They said it should be removed and Mrs Patterson lodged an appeal against that decision.
On Friday, the council’s Planning and Development Committee heard that her appeal had now also been rejected.
Mrs Patterson said: “I thought I’d put in a good appeal. I took photos of all the houses that have fences down to the wall on Cambridge Road. Their argument was that our fence was different because it was stopping an open view.
“I wasn’t very happy about it to be honest.
“I’ve had to take it down and put bushes in – it’s all extra cost.
“I accept that I should have put an application in first.
“To be honest, I didn’t realise I would have to, but it’s a conservation area.
“The thing is, you can grow your bushes as high as you like. So it’s silly really.”
The committee heard that an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State had agreed the fence was completely out of step with the conservation area of Linthorpe.
Speaking at the Middlesbrough Town Hall meeting, a planning officer said: “The characteristics of the conservation area include low walls, hedges – there’s a softer approach to it.
“I understand that, as part of the appeal, the applicants have said they would put a dark stain on it and lower the height closest to the road.
“Officers also got the view of the council’s own conservation officers.
“And the conservation officer went through, and laid out, what the characteristics of the Linthorpe conservation area. They raised concerns that the height and permeability of the fence are harmful.
“It’s a close boarded fence which is, certainly in a front garden, a low quality boundary treatment – in this area security should really be achieved by hedge which is softer.
“Generally front gardens aren’t for screening views – it’s more of an open aspect.”
He continued: “In the opinion of the local planning authority, the fence that was rejected by virtue of its height, location and projection and materials – so everything about it.
And, reading from the appeal decision, he added: “It is completely alien to this particular part of the conservation area and highly prominent in the approach from both directions along Cambridge Road.”
The recommendation was approved to refuse planning permission and enforce the removal of the fence.
In his report to the committee, the inspector appointed by the Secretary of State, said: “It is for the council to commence enforcement proceedings on receipt of my decision if the appellant does not voluntarily remove the fence and at that point set a timescale for its removal.”
By Tuesday, the fence had already been taken down.