A SOUTH Tyneside father has been told to tear down a wall he built so his son could play safely outside.
Tom Bryson spent £1,600 on the one metre-high garden boundary wall at his home in The Cornfields, Hebburn.
His eight-year-old son, Thomas, plays in the garden, and Mr Bryson wanted him to play in safety.
He also wanted to prevent conflict with fellow residents, as his son’s ball would occasionally end up in neighbouring gardens.
But Mr Bryson, 55, is angry after being told to remove the wall despite, he says, reaching a verbal agreement with council officers to build it.
He has been told the wall contravenes regulations by causing an obstruction and blocking access to public utilities.
Council officers also say the wall could pose a threat to pedestrians.
Mr Bryson said: “I will take down the wall – if the council pays for the work. I was told it didn’t need formal planning permission, and council officers twice came out and looked at the plans and agreed it was OK.
“The wall was completed on June 11, but then a complaint was made and officers came back and said it would have to come down, because it was four centimetres too high at a certain spot.
“I have not been ‘cloak and dagger’ about these plans and was twice told the plans were fine, but then the council said I was contravening a services area. But the wall is actually standing in what is my garden.
“I will be happy to take down the wall, but only if the council foots the bill.”
Mr Bryson and wife, Terri, 40, have contacted Hebburn North councillors about the wall row and met with council officers this week to discuss the case.
A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “Mr Bryson made inquiries about the need for planning permission, and was advised that it is not necessary in this situation for a wall of up to one metre in height.
“However, building projects can often require a range of different permissions, and in this case there is a restrictive covenant in place which prevents the construction of the wall. We are continuing dialogue with the family to try to bring a resolution to the problem.”
“The council has a legal duty to protect the public highway and Mr Bryson’s wall is in breach of the Highways Act 1980.
“It obstructs part of the public highway and blocks access to underground services, which is prohibited. The wall is also an immediate danger to pedestrians.”