‘I’ve been ordered to demolish my 1.82metre fence – I’ll be arrested first’
A dad-of-one said he’s willing to be arrested over his “too-tall” fence as he says it is protecting his daughter.
Cliff’s 10-year-old daughter Tiona-Jai, who is autistic, has a “tendency to climb”, doctors say – prompting him to build the 1.82-metre fence around his garden in Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire.
But Newark and Sherwood District Council ordered it to be torn down after a neighbour complained it was 82cm too high.
The planning inspectorate rejected an appeal and gave Cliff nine months to lower the fence to just one metre.
Speaking to BBC Radio Nottingham, he said: “If they do come to take it down, it is not going to happen – I’m standing my ground.
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“My daughter’s safety comes first. I’ll get arrested for it, I’m not bothered.”
Dr Jeanette Derbyshire of King’s Mill Hospital said in a letter seen by the BBC that Tiona-Jai has a “tendency to climb” due to being autistic.
The doctor added that outdoor space was “important” for children like Tiona-Jai.
Nottinghamshire County Council councillor Scott Carlton sided with Cliff and his wife Dawn in a letter to Michael Gove, Levelling Up Secretary, protesting the council’s ruling.
Cliff argued planning laws need to be more flexible for people with disabilities.
Lisa Hughes, business manager for planning at the council, added: “We can’t go into specific detail regarding the case itself however we did follow the appropriate planning rules and law when investigating this case.
“This is obviously a difficult and emotional case.
“We wanted to help the applicant and have offered alternative solutions, which have been supported by the Planning Inspector, but unfortunately these have thus far been turned down by the applicant.
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“We’re sorry to hear the applicant is frustrated by this decision but we are still open to working with them to find an alternative if possible.”
A garden fence, measured from the ground, can be as high as 100m – but you need to get planning permission if it’s over than 2m.
While front garden fences are not allowed to exceed one metre.
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