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Cutting a hole in a (possible) council fence and putting a gate in it - WWYD?

(12 Posts)
SomedayBaby Sun 28-Aug-16 20:36:12

We've decided to put an offer in on a house we viewed last week. A massive benefit is that it has a back garden which backs directly onto a massive park. All green space, couple of football pitches, kids park etc.

To get to the park from the front of the house is only a two minute walk...but I would love to put a gate in the back fence to go directly from our back garden into the park. I have a vision of the dc just being able to wander directly into the park, maybe me sitting in a chair on the boundary and throwing a tennis ball for ddog into the park without having to leave the house! blush

There are no other examples where this has been done - the other 15 or so houses on the same side of our road have a lane running across the back of their gardens, which peters out a few feet before our house, so we're the only garden with possible direct access.

The fence is a mish mash of different types/heights along the border of the park and the fence between our garden and the park is different to the rest - but because it's a mish mash anyway, it's impossible to tell whether the fence is ours or belongs to the council.

I have a suspicion I should probably ask the council, but i'm afraid they'll give a blanket no...so i'm tempted to just do it, and hope no one notices or cares. BIL is a carpenter so could do it for us, using the fence panel wood - all very inconspicuous and natural.

Anyone know anything about this? What's the worst that could happen if we were found out?

Momzilla82 Sun 28-Aug-16 20:40:46

I wouldn't worry about he enforcement aspect so much as making your back garden an attraction as the only one with a gate into it from the park. From a trespass, theft perspective.

wowfudge Sun 28-Aug-16 21:19:15

Hmm - is this a parish council area? I wouldn't if I were you. Without permission you are highly likely to be told to restore the fencing and remove the gate. Plus, if yours is the only house where this access is possible, someone will spot it and report it.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 28-Aug-16 23:18:28

I'd do it and make it as 'un-gate-like' looking from the park side as possible. What's the worst that could happen? They make you take it out and repair the fence?

"Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission"

(PS I grew up with a back gate that opened into an orange grove next to which was our school playground. It was great!)

SomedayBaby Mon 29-Aug-16 09:03:19

Thank you for the replies!

I'm not worried about the security aspect, although it did cross my mind. The gate would be 6ft, the same height as the fence and we'd have a lock on the inside...and drill the dc to use it when they come in the gate.

Easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

This was kind of my thinking...and to make a gate out of the vertical fence panel wood so that it looks like fence.

Hulababy Mon 29-Aug-16 09:08:18

People backing on to the park/field where we live have done this. They're not council owned fences or anything here so that aspect isn't an issue for them.

However they have made them so they really don't look different from the outside at all. You'd have to get pretty close up to see where they open. The locks and hinges etc are all inside. The ones we saw had pretty decent looking locks so we not just easy access ones. None appear to have had any issues with break ins as a result.

StubbleTurnips Mon 29-Aug-16 09:08:33

Get your solicitor to check rights of access to the property.

i can't stand the pricks on our lane that have created their own access to a private road for ease of doc walking. Smacks of entitlement.

Plus as residents we all get thoroughly pissed off with having to get the council involved to remove them.

OnlyTheDepthVaries Mon 29-Aug-16 11:35:05

Who owns the fence? If it isn't yours and you cut a hole in it - it will be criminal damage. Wouldn't do to get arrested...ignorance is not a defence in law!
Best advice is to ask permission - not forgiveness!

Slothlikesundays Mon 29-Aug-16 11:44:23

Will it not say on the deeds to your house who's responsibility the fence is? If it's not shared responsibility then you surely can do what you like with your fence?

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 29-Aug-16 11:48:16

Surely you just find out who owns the fence? If it's yours you can open it, if is the councils you can't touch it.

wowfudge Mon 29-Aug-16 11:53:05

It's not as simple as just cutting a hole in the fence if you own it. You are creating an access way onto someone else's land and just because public access is permitted via other access points does not make this right.

dotdotdotmustdash Mon 29-Aug-16 23:05:47

You are totally within your rights to make a gate in your fence, but the council are completely entitled (if they notice it), to ask you never to open it. They may even send someone along to erect a new fence in front of your gate. I don't think they would do it to be malicious, it's more to prevent legal rights being gained.

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