A couple has blasted their local council for “madness” after they were ordered to halve the height of their £10,000 six-foot fence. Susan Paul, 53, from Amesbury, Wiltshire, has been given until mid-March to slash the wooden barrier by half at the home she shares with partner Andrew Doyle, 58.
The couple said they were unaware they needed planning permission when they erected the fence outside their £280,000 home in January 2020.
The row has erupted almost two years later after Wiltshire Council was reportedly alerted to the barrier by a whistle-blower.
But Susan has complained that “nothing has happened” to neighbours, who she says have fences of similar heights.
The former RAF administrator said: “It’s such an injustice, we were just really surprised.
“Other people have exactly the same type of fence as we’ve got, so why are we being punished? We are being unfairly penalised, it’s madness.
“And we are worried about being able to afford the work in this age of austerity.”
Andrew added: “We replaced the hedge with the fence, unaware of the need for planning permission until we suddenly had a letter out of the blue from Wiltshire Council who came after us.
“Now we have to cut it down by a half – we have to cut it down to one metre (3ft 3in) high.
“It’s the loss of the privacy that I’m worried about. It’s crazy because I could put a hedge back in and let it get as big as I like.
“The old hedge was 8ft high and 6ft wide and filthy because people used to throw rubbish in it.”
The couple’s application for retrospective planning permission was denied by the council.
Their appeal against the enforcement notice has also been dismissed by a Government planning inspector.
Andrew told The Sun that as “law abiding citizens” they will comply with the order.
Councillor Nick Botterill, Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “The enforcement notices in place are required to be met by March 16 2023.
“We would strongly encourage anyone considering undertaking development to check with the council to establish if planning permission is required before starting any works.
“Should we receive any formal reports of any issues with other fences in the area, then we will investigate these in line with our normal processes and take appropriate action if required.”