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Rainham: decision to allow fence building “still stands” despite council error

PUBLISHED: 18:00 08 July 2012

Local residents put their point of view to Cllr David Durant

Local residents put their point of view to Cllr David Durant

Archant

Householders in Rainham are demanding action after the council approved a controversial planning application without a vote – even though it had received 25 letters of objection.

In correspondence seen by the Recorder, a council officer admits the application to build a fence around an area of amenity space on Roding Way should have been dealt with by the planning committee after it was “called in” by local councillor David Durant.

But the decision to allow the fence still stands – as does the fence, which has already been erected despite the fact the land is still legally a highway.

“The decision shouldn’t have been made under delegated powers because that’s for non-controversial things,” said Cllr Durant. “This bit of land is presently part of a public highway. To build on a highway you have to get the public highway rights extinguished and prove it’s actually your land - but the fence is already up.”

The council’s deputy leader Steven Kelly confirmed the work would be halted.

“The owner of the adjacent land has planning permission to change the land’s use, currently classed as public highway, to a fenced domestic garden,” he said. “The highway should have had a stopping up order agreed before any work commenced. There has been a temporary stop on the process until the necessary application has been approved.”

The application came after an earlier version of the plans was dismissed in January. The new fence is 35cm lower than the original plan, and set back 90cm from the road.

Cllr Kelly added: “We are aware of neighbours’ concerns regarding the fencing in Roding Way. However, the developer has made considerable changes which address these. This is why we have accepted the new application.”

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