‘Intrusive’ hedge-replacing fence may have to go after IW council decision

A length of fencing in Ventnor may have to come down for being unacceptable and visually intrusive.

The shiplap fencing now installed around the boundary of 11 High Street Ventnor, also facing onto Tulse Hill, could have to come down if the Isle of Wight Council issues an enforcement notice.

Isle of Wight County Press: The fencing in question, on the High Street property.The fencing in question, on the High Street property.

In the retrospective application, Mr Antony Wherrett said the application was being submitted because the council’s enforcement team had asked him to do so.

The fencing was erected in April last year, replacing the existing fence and hedges around the flat’s courtyard, after a lorry crashed into the boundary wall, damaging the wall, fence and gas pipe.

During the work to fix the gas pipe, which had to be repositioned, further sections of the boundary wall were demolished and areas found to be unstable due to the roots of the hedges.

This led to the wall being repaired and repointed with the hedges removed altogether.

Isle of Wight County Press: The hedge previously on the property boundary. (As picture in 2018 by Google Maps)The hedge previously on the property boundary. (As picture in 2018 by Google Maps)

Mr Wherrett said the fencing style was chosen after surveying the surrounding area and said he had received nothing but compliments from neighbours about the removal of the hedges, which at times created a hazard.

He also said, in a heritage statement submitted in favour of the application, the architectural and historic character of the building had not been changed or impacted by the change and it had tidied up the scruffy corner.

The High Street site, however, is part of the Ventnor Conservation Area and while Mr Wherrett said the fencing enhanced the area and quality of street frontage, Ventnor Town Council said the boarding was not appropriate and did not support the application.

Isle of Wight County Press: The hedge as seen from the High Street, Ventor. (Picture: Google Maps)The hedge as seen from the High Street, Ventor. (Picture: Google Maps)

In its reasons for rejecting the application, Isle of Wight Council planning officers said the fencing was visually intrusive and out of context with the property, jarring with the white stone building and it was unacceptable.

Officers said the fencing significantly harmed the intrinsic character of the conservation area, as its prominent position would further emphasise its inappropriate scale and materials.

They were also concerned about the impact the fencing had on neighbours.

The decision, however, could be appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Isle of Wight County Press | News