The owner of a property in Barking has found himself in the dock over the height of his fence following a two-year dispute.
Shujaat Ali, of Longbridge Road, installed a fence at the rear of his garden over two metres high, which is the maximum allowed without planning permission.
Following complaints from neighbours, planning enforcement officers from Barking and Dagenham Council contacted Mr Ali in June 2021 to inform him of his options, but when the issue remained unresolved nine months later, he was served an enforcement notice ordering the removal of the fence or a reduction in its height.
When an appeal by Mr Ali was dismissed, the 41-year-old was given until July 2022 to comply with the legal notice.
However, when council officers visited the property, they found the fence remained in place and there had been no changes. As a result, the council took the case to the courts.
Mr Ali failed to appear at the original hearing in May this year and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
He eventually pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the requirements of the enforcement notice on Tuesday 5 September at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court and was fined £230, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £92 victim surcharge.
Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “This was a long-winded case that could quite easily have been resolved without the need for legal intervention, but unfortunately, in this instance, the individual chose to ignore our advice and assistance.
“We will always listen to the concerns of residents and take all the necessary steps to protect planning legislation. If anyone isn’t sure on any planning issues, we encourage them to contact the council or check online before carrying out any work.”
For more guidance about planning permission, visit https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/planning-building-control-and-local-land-charges/planning