Road safety fears scupper bid for ‘privacy’ fence around South Shields home

A householder’s bid for a new boundary fence has been refused by planning chiefs over road safety fears.

The proposals for the property in Longleat Gardens, in South Shields, were registered with South Tyneside Council (STC) in 2019 following a planning enforcement investigation sparked by reports of an “unauthorised development”.

The retrospective application aimed to keep a fence and gate which had been installed along the rear and side boundaries of the home, increasing from the original height of 4ft to around 6ft.

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A planning listing said the new fence was erected for “privacy purposes” as the house sits behind restaurants, but development bosses deemed it would reduce visibility for drivers and put pedestrians at risk.

South Shields Town Hall

While some fence plans can go ahead without permission as a “permitted development”, formal planning permission is required where road safety issues are also a consideration.

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But after assessing the bid, STC officially turned it down last month (September 22).

The main reason for refusal included highway safety and concerns the fence would be “detrimental to highway Road sfatyeusers”.

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This included “restricted visibility” for vehicles entering and exiting the site and pedestrians passing the site, as well as visibility impacts on neighbouring properties.

The council decision report adds: “The highway authority’s response indicates that the obstruction to visibility is likely to increase the risk of vehicles colliding with pedestrians on the footway to the detriment of pedestrian safety.

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“The highway authority’s comments indicate that, in their view, the application should be refused, and that to satisfactorily address the highway/pedestrian safety concerns, the height would need to be reduced to the original height of 1.2 metres as a maximum to the front, and for a one-metre long section perpendicular to the front boundary fence.

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“As noted by the traffic and road safety team, it is considered that the proposed development would result in significant harm to highway safety and would reduce visibility of road users, to the detriment of pedestrian safety.”

The applicant has the right to challenge the council decision by lodging an appeal with the Government’s Planning Inspectorate.

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More information about the application can be found on South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal.