Part and parcel

All of an unauthorised 1.8m high fence at a house in Worcestershire will have to be reduced to 1m notwithstanding the appellants’ protest that part of it was lawful (DCS Number 400-026-134).

The inspector in this enforcement appeal case recorded that Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the GPDO permits the erection, construction, maintenance or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure. Paragraph A.1 provides that development is not permitted if the height of any gate, fence, wall or means of enclosure erected or constructed adjacent to a highway used by vehicular traffic would, after the carrying out of the development, exceed 1m above ground level.

All of the fence exceeded 1m in height above ground level, but the appellants argued that not all of the fence was adjacent to a highway used by vehicular traffic, in that there were splayed sections which were angled away from the road immediately on either side of the access, with the furthest parts being about 5m away from the road.

The inspector explained, however, that the parts of the fence that might be said not to be adjacent to the highway were nevertheless part and parcel of the overall development. This principle, he recorded, was given judicial approval by the courts in Garland v City of Westminster [1968], where, in the case of an unauthorised building, it was held that the demolition of the entire structure could be required by an enforcement notice, without allowing the retention of that part of the extension which fell within the permitted cubic capacity.

The inspector recognised, however, that there was a realistic fallback position under Part 2, reasoning that there seemed to be little point in requiring the complete removal of the fence, as required by the notice, only for a 1m high fence to be erected immediately afterwards. He therefore varied the requirements of the notice to provide an option to reduce it in height to 1m.

Section 4.3422 of DCP Online sets out information concerning Part 2 Class A of the GPDO.