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Fencegate: Rices told to reduce its height
3:00pm Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
A COUNCILLOR couple who erected a two-metre high fence around their property without planning permission have been asked to take it down and put a smaller one up.
Cllrs Gerard and Barbara Rice, of Heath Road, Chadwell St Mary caused a stir when they put up the fence, pictured, in September in breach of strict planning regulations.
Mr Rice, pictured, was forced to stand down from his role as a substitute member of Thurrock Council’s planning committee following the saga, which became known as “fencegate”.
One national newspaper quoted “a neighbour” as likening the fence to Osama Bin Laden’s bunker.
Mrs Rice said at the time she was “amazed” at the publicity the fence had attracted and that it had been put up to simply secure the garden for her grandchildren.
At a meeting of the planning committee last week, a report instructing the couple to take down the two metre high fence and replace it with a fence of 1.2 metres in height was approved without any debate.
The report said: “The fence is considered unacceptable as it represents a dominant and obtrusive feature in the street scene which is detrimental to the character and visual amenities of this area.”
The Rices now have until August 14 to reduce the fence or be served with a breach of condition notice.