Fence next to highway

December 24, 2021 by Wayne Smethurst in forum Planning Forum

#1167 Wayne Smethurst, 24 December 2021, 10:26


I have a question concerning the definition of 'next to a highway' when referring to fences.
If the fence is located away from the edge of the property (i.e. nearer the house) does this stop being 'next to a highway'. If so, what would be a qualifying distance?

#1169 Damian, 24 December 2021, 16:35

There have been a few Appeal cases on this and this extract from the Planning Resource website may be of some use…

“The point here is that if not deemed to be "adjacent" to a public highway this fence would be permitted development by virtue of Part 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995. This question has arisen at appeal several times and Development Control Practice at (12.31) contains a number of relevant case summaries. The thrust of these decisions is that a wall or fence may be sited back from the edge of a highway and still be "adjacent" to it provided that the function of the enclosure is clearly to define the boundary of the property concerned from the highway. As each situation is different there is no common standard for setback distance that may be deduced from cases. An appeal decision from Tunbridge Wells determined last month is of interest as here an inspector concluded that an enclosure which lay 1.7m behind a footway was not adjacent to it. The situation here was that there was a substantial bed containing young trees and shrubs in front of the fence in dispute. The inspector felt that this bed was a feature of some substance in its own right separating the fence from the footway. In addition the inspector averred that the distance which separated the fence from a person standing on the footway was such that the person could not touch the fence without entering the land belonging to the property. This he argued meant that there was no sense of "immediacy or proximity" of the fence. I look forward to this inspector's "arms length" standard being introduced in future disputes of this type!”

#1174 Wayne Smethurst, 27 December 2021, 17:27

Thank you for your reply.
That is very useful information.
Seems like there is no formal definition (yet).

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