Steel fence twist to hedge saga

Mitch Wilson and (below) the steel fence
Mitch Wilson and (below) the steel fence

A RESIDENT’S four-year battle with a council over a garden hedge took another twist when he returned from a dog walk to find authority workers had put up a steel fence behind his home.

Mitch Wilson is at loggerheads with Hartlepool Borough Council over the hedge, which impinges on land at Clavering Primary School.

The steel fence

The steel fence

He claims the council put up the new fence despite assuring him they would not take any action while they considered the case.

The dad-of-two, of Alnwick Close, Hartlepool, said: “The council told me it was still under consideration, but then I come back from walking the dog at 8.45am yesterday to find this fence, which looks very unsightly.

“I’m going to fight them all the way.”

But council chiefs insist that the fencing has been put up temporarily after school bosses expressed concerns about security.

Close to the hedge in boundary battle

A council spokesman said: “In order to allay concerns from the school regarding the missing section of fence, the council has put some temporary fencing in place pending resolution of the boundary/fence issues.

“We have explained this to Mr Wilson.”

The homeowner has been embroiled in a row with the local authority over a hedge he planted after pulling down a rotten fence behind his home and getting a gardener to replace it with a hedge.

But the hedge was planted almost 2ft the wrong way, impinging on the council-run school wildlife area land, as reported by the Mail on Saturday.

Mr Wilson said the council had “promised” the hedge could stay after a row broke out.

But the authority built a 70ft-long wooden fence parallel to Mr Wilson’s property, behind the bush, despite the school already having a complete wire fence around the full perimeter of it.

Civil engineer Mr Wilson believed this would be the end of the matter until he removed the last remaining 8ft rotten section of his fence to the left of the controversial bush, and planted more hedge shrubs in its place, on his land.

This sparked the hedge war to erupt again earlier this year when the council wrote to him saying they wanted to erect another new fence along the back of Mr Wilson’s and his next-door neighbour’s gardens on the original border and that the bush would have to be moved.

Mr Wilson argued that birds had built nests in the growing hedge and used the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which states it is an offence to damage or destroy a bush in which wild birds are nesting, to win over the council.

But last week the father-of-two received more correspondence from the local authority, again saying the bush would have to go as they wanted to go ahead and build the new fence.

The council maintained that “the hedge should not have been planted on the council’s land in the first place” and they have decided to replace the fence along the field’s boundary with Mr Wilson’s land.