Pensioner slams 'vindictive' council bosses who told him to cut fence outside home in half

Pensioner slams 'vindictive' council bosses who told him to cut fence outside home in half

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GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 21/05/2024

- 07:39

Updated: 21/05/2024

- 08:26

The 67-year-old errected the barrier in order to 'feel safe and secure' in his new home

A pensioner has hit out at “vindictive” council bosses who ordered him to cut his fence in half due to not meeting planning requirements.

James Barry, 67, from Wingston, said he put the barrier up around his Leicestershire home after he trimmed down the overgrown garden when he first moved back in 2021. He said he wanted to “feel safe and secure” in his new property.

He said he decided to make it six-foot in order to ensure that passersby could not look into his property.

However, just weeks after building the perimeter, he received a letter from his local council telling him that he needed to apply for retrospective planning permission.

Stock tall fence

Pensioner slams 'vindictive' council bosses who told him to cut fence outside home in half (not pictured)


He paid the £250 to Oadby and Wigston Borough Council for the application fee, yet was then told that he would need to reduce the size of the fence by half.

The 67-year-old complied, before then replacing it with a screen, however was then told to remove that also.

Barry tried to appeal the decision but was denied that the fence was out of character for the area and was “visually unappealing”.

He has now hit out at the council for its “zero tolerance policy” - which he says “could appear to be vindictive or even bordering on a vendetta”.


The pensioner purchased the bungalow after he developed sepsis following a routine hernia operation, which resulted in him falling into a coma for three weeks. He lost the ability to walk and purchased the one-floor property as he underwent rehabilitation.

“Over the last three years I feel as though I have been badgered by the council and my life has been made a misery,” he told LeicestershireLive.

“It has been a constant worry and I have had to endure many sleepless nights. The strain and stress caused by the inability of the council to waiver from their 'zero tolerance' policy has been devastating. I am a senior citizen who just wants to be left in peace and quiet.

“I want to feel secure and safe, there have been too many burglaries in the neighbourhood and there is no police presence whatsoever. I have limited income and I have had to pay for retrospective planning permission which was a waste of time, a professional to come and reduce the height of the fence and, finally, the cost of several packs of ivy netting.”

A wooden fence

The pensioner erected the fence in order to feel 'safe and secure' in his new home


He lamented that the money he spent on the planning application has gone to waste and said his neighbours were shocked at the council’s position, as he claimed that none of them had gone to the local authority to complain. He added: “Some people's opinion may even suggest that this could appear to be vindictive or even bordering on a vendetta as an explanation to the council's stance.”

Adrian Thorpe, head of the built environment at Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, said: “This planning application was rejected by the borough council and then the Planning Inspectorate on appeal.

“This was due to the height, length and prominent location of the fencing adjacent to the road, which means it is out of character for the area and can be visually unappealing for everyone else that lives and works there.

“Natural planting or growth is very different and doesn't have the same restrictions as a high fence or wall.

“It's important we have planning policies in place that protect the appearance and character of our green borough.”

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