Bristol dad blocked from building garden fence to protect young kids from busy road

Planning permission was refused due to the impact on views and an oil pipeline

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A homeowner has been blocked from building a garden fence to protect his young children from a busy road in Patchway.

South Gloucestershire Council refused planning permission for the 1.85-metre high boundary fence due to the impact on views and an oil pipeline.

Part of the fence has been built outside a house on the corner of Eagle Drive and Coniston Road, but the homeowner could soon be ordered to take it down and replace it with a hedgerow.

Writing to the council’s planning department, Councillor Jo Buddharaju, representing Charlton and Cribbs, said locals supported the plans which would make it safer for the applicant’s children to play in the garden.

Cllr Buddharaju said: “The fence seems a reasonable ask from the resident as it’s a matter of privacy for his young family, and most importantly safety for his toddler and baby, who would spend most of their time in the garden while at home. The house faces a busy road and there can be no mistake in terms of safety of kids.

“The hedges which were previously there were in fact a safety hazard as they were running into half of the pedestrian footpath and leaving a corner blind for any cyclist or motorist entering Coniston Road from the street. Most residents we spoke to in our visit were in favour of this fence instead of hedges, as it helped them in manoeuvring around the corner.”

But councillors on the development management committee voted to refuse permission on September 14. They heard from a council planning officer that the fence would “stand out” from the rest of the housing estate, and could affect an underground oil pipeline.

Marie Bath, development manager, said: “We’re in an open-plan estate, there’s lots of green. There are no other similar structures in the area, it stands out. A main oil pipeline runs straight under the bottom of the site. The fence would restrict access to the pipeline and also might cause damage to the underground apparatus.”

Cllr Jayne Stansfield added: “That area is open to the front, and it’s the openness that creates the character of the neighbourhood.”

The pipeline is operated by Exolum, a Spanish company which also has to consent to the fence, under separate legal rules. But Exolum said they would object to the fence due to the risk of any damage and restricting access.