Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.
Fence Dispute with Neighbour(12 Posts)
Hoping to gain some advice about an issue im having with a Neighbour.
Bit of Background. I own a semidetached house with a large front garden that meets a public path and across from that is the front garden of my neighbour across (not the disputing one) and i have a council owned property next door attached to my building. I am located at the end of the public path that is walled off and hedges run along it. The rear garden meets a public road and this is were my car is parked (along with my wifes). I have 2 doors to my property, a front door located at the side of my home and a rear door at the back. The rear door is our main door as it is the most convenient to use.
Anyway my wife and i have been lucky enough to fall pregnant and with the need to bring up a child i decided i wanted to make my front garden more secure and private (before you could sit in the living room and look into the living room of each house across the street, and using curtains blocked too much light). I decided to erect a small (1.8mtr) fence around my front garden. The security reason being that the path leading from the front garden, past the side of my house, to the rear was being used as a public footpath for all sorts of neds and undesirables (most took great pleasure in chapping my door on their way past for a laugh).
Before i did any work i spoke to my local authority to seek advice on if planning permission was required (given the house next door was a council house also) and what i would need to do. I was informed i would not require any planning permissions as the fence was under 2meters and all i had to do was advise my next door neighbour. This i did and my next door neighbour was happy for the fence to go up as it didnt block any of her light or garden.
With this i went ahead and had the fence put up with a gate at the path which i keep locked as we do not want it to be used as a foot path and access to our door from the rear is easier.
The fence has been up for a few months now and not had a single complaint untill today. A neighbour from 2 houses down turned up at my door and proceeded to upset my pregnant wife by angrily stating that since we put the fence up she has had an increase in traffic through HER private path.
I went to talk to the lady who unfortunately was very beliigerent and refused to understand the reasons why i had placed the fence and locked the pathway and couldnt understand that the foot traffic she was seeing is the same foot traffic i was having issues with previously.
Now some of the traffic i have found out comes from delivery drivers who despite us clearly stating on our delivery notes that the rear entrance is to be used (and frankly its the easiest entrance to access from the road) and i have apologised about this and explained that i shall place a sign at the gate stating the entrance is locked and give a map to the correct entrance. This is only a small amount of traffic caused by this though and the majority of it is public traffic just using her path as a shortcut.
Now despite my assurances and apoligies about the delivery drivers the woman could not understand that the increase in traffic on her property was not my concern. This traffic is what i had to suffer with before i erected the fence. As far as i am concerned it is her responsibility to police her own land if she is having issues. She has however refused to see it this way and is blaming my new fence and blocked path (a private path that i own and is part of my land) for strangers using her private path.
She has mentioned that she will complain to the Local Authority about this. Unfortunately i am worried now as although i contacted the Authority and advised them about my plans (all via phone calls) and the fact the authority stated they are happy for the work to go ahead as it did not affect them in any way or require any sort of permission, i never thought to insist on a letter or email stating as such.
While im positive that the authority would advise this woman that they have no say in the matter i am worried she may seek private assistance from a lawyer regarding this.
I am wondering if there is any advice you could offer me about this issue.
Ive attache some pics of the garden before and after the build so you can see the clear issues with privacy and security i had before
any help will be apreciated
I didn't think you were allowed 1.8m to the front without pp. it does look rather foreboding and gate unclear. Could you not put a sign asking them to use the rear entrance.
Is the path you've enclosed a public right of way?
The limit is 1m for a wall/fence abutting a public highway, so it depends on the legal status of your path.
Otherwise the limit is 2m. That's all planning law.
You're right about your neighbour's complaint about the increase in traffic on her land being nothing to do with you.
Thanks for the replies.
Im placing a clear sign up tmrw to ensure any of my deliveries will know the correct entrance.
The enclosed Path is Private. Not listed as a public right of way
Also the path the fence adjoins is not considered a public highway but a footpath.
To make it a bit cleared ive attached a new PIC.
Red line is my new fence, Blue lines are my Doors. Yellow line is the Public Road
Green line is the path my Neighbour owns and is complaining about.
Now i refer to the Garden as my front garden but in all honesty (and im sure looking at the pic you will agree) the garden is essentially a rear garden. I only call it the Front as my Living room window looks out on it.
People walking down the path isn't your problem as far as I can tell! It might all be a nuisance for the postie/delivery people as they have a route and I guess they'd rather not trek round the back.
Sorry, but a public footpath can be a highway. It depends on whether it's maintainable at public expense. Check with your LA whether it's a highway. I believe they should hold a register of highways.
Hang on, is it a footpath just to your 'front door' or one that other people have rights to use? I'm wondering if there's a problem with terms here.
tell her to put up a fence
Seriously, though, just get your facts checked with your LA but don't engage with her. Tell her to go to the council with her issues - i see she didn't have a problem whilst that 'traffic' was being diverted to you!
Update for you. My local Authority called and confirmed that there are no Planning Permissions required for this build and that they have no issues with the fence or gate
I have also spoken to my local Housing Officer who agreed with me as well that there is no issue for them regarding the fence and further more they advised me that the path that my neighbor is complaining that people are using is technically a shared path belonging to both the neighbor and the GHA.
Anyway i have now placed a Large sign on the gate Advising No entry through the path, included a large diagram of the route to my Front entrance and also a nice sentence requesting that they respect my neighbors property and don't trespass.
I don't think this will be the last of it though as the woman has already pulled up a delivery driver, even though he wasn't even using her path but walking down the route i advised?? Poor lad was a bit annoyed when he got to my door
Anyway thank you all for your advice, its greatly appreciated
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.