‘Victorians would spin in graves’ over ‘hideous’ fence

WH 090115 15 Wyke Avenue, Worthing. Retrospective application for front garden fence rejected after residents complained. Photo by Derek  Martin SUS-150901-183742001
WH 090115 15 Wyke Avenue, Worthing. Retrospective application for front garden fence rejected after residents complained. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-150901-183742001
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A ‘HIDEOUS’ and ‘back to front’ wooden fence in the front garden of a period home could be ripped down after neighbours complained about its appearance.

Wyke Road resident Jamie Dobson installed the fence outside his family home to allow his children to play safely and prevent littering.

A retrospective application – which falls in a conservation area – was rejected by Worthing Borough Council planning committee last Wednesday.

Councillor Edward Crouch said: “The fence is really out of character with that conservation area.

“The Victorians who built that house would be spinning in their graves if they saw that.”

Wyke Road falls in the Warwick Gardens conservation area and property alterations such as fences require full planning permission.

Mr Dobson’s close-boarded fence, which stands one metre above the line of the boundary wall, received seven letters of objection from residents.

One neighbour said: “The first I knew about it was it going up with no consultation. It’s also back to front. It’s a close-boarded fence which is the wrong way round.

“It looks hideous, it’s in a conservation area and it is completely out of character.”

Mr Dobson contended the fence was a ‘big improvement’, had received no complaints and would consider installing artificial hedging to mask the appearance.

He said: “The reason we put the fence up is to create a safer environment for our children.

“There are examples of close boarded fences in the area which are not in as good condition as ours. There are others across the street as well.”

Councillors noted 22 letters of support to Mr Dobson’s application –in addition to support from ward councillor Clive Roberts at the meeting.

But councillor Hazel Thorpe noted most were not from Wyke Road residents and some were from as far away as London.

Heene councillor Diane Guest questioned the motive of Mr Dobson, pointing out open gateways could allow his children to venture outside of the property.

Green member James Doyle added: “I always think it (the area) is Worthing’s secret garden.

“The fence is extremely prominent in the street scene from all directions.”

The fence must now be taken down or an alternative application submitted.