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Boundary disputes with planners

Hi all, 

Not sure if this is the right place but I have seen some other chats regarding boundaries. We are looking to see if anyone else has ever come across our particular problem and if anyone has any advise for us..

We have a plot of land that we own and we have applied for planning permission to build a new dwelling. Long and short of it is that we have annoyed our local planning authority by being granted planning permission to build and they seem to be out to get us in whatever way they can..

We had a hedge row that separated two pieces of land (we own both pieces and there is no neighbour) we removed the hedgerow as we felt we had every right to as per the statement in the hedgerow legislation act "The regulations of removal do not apply to hedgerows within the curtilage of, or marking a boundary of the curtilage of, a dwelling house."

The planners have said that we need to reinstate the hedge but when I presented this piece of legislation they then changed their argument to say that there needs to be a boundary to separate the two pieces of land as they are calling one a garden and one agricultural. We however strongly disagree that the land is agricultural as it has never been used for farming, grazing or growing of crops. 

My main question really is, does anyone know if we can be made to put a boundary back up, either it be a fence, hedge or wall, seems we own both pieces of land?

Thanks in advance, 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    I think you need to find out if the second piece of land is indeed registered as agricultural ... this should have been in the paperwork when you bought it, or the Land Registry should have that information. Your solicitor should be able to help. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks for the comments. We did contact the land registry and they have no details of the land being agricultural but they said we need to ask our local planning authority. When we tried to argue it with the authority they just said "well its neither here nor there" which has just caused more irritation as they really do just seem to be doing it to make life difficult for us. :\
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,892
    This happens a lot actually and we've dealt with a few cases of a similar nature. It's not planning being petty it's just how the planning rules work. When it comes to new dwellings in the countryside the planning rules are very strict and they will try to restrict the spread of the domestic curtilage as much as possible. With barn conversions we are sometimes only allowed two metres of garden around the building for example. They are also very keen on defined boundaries between domestic and agricultural ground. Without knowing the specifics of your case I can't comment but normally they would have asked for a landscaping plan as part of the application showing all the boundaries of the new house with specifics of what they will be made out of, fencing, hedging, walls etc. In planning terms though if the ground wasn't part of a defined domestic garden orginally then it is agricultural ground whether it was farmed or not.

    The question is what will you use the other bit of ground for? There are a number of 'garden' uses that are acceptable as what planning would call agricultural, orchards are a particular favourite of theirs especially if you plant heritage varieties. The main point is that they don't want domestic buildings or trampolines etc in the agricultural ground.

    Some places to check though would be Google Earth's historic data as that can go back a few years and show what the ground was used for. Historic maps can also help and we've gone back to the 1800s to help in some cases. If a garden goes out of use though it can be deemed to have lost its domestic status fairly quickly.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,267
    I don’t speak from personal experience, only from knowing people who have had the experience.

    It isn’t a good idea to cross planners.They really can make your life a misery. They will always win.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Well the second piece of land was gifted to us by our neighbour and it has always been her wooded garden, so we automatically thought it would then be our garden. 
    We aren’t planning on using the land for much other than part of the garden but we don’t want to have to separate the two. 
    Our entire plot is only a half of an acre and framed by existing well established hedgerow. 

    The question really is, is it law to have a boundary line to separate the two pieces of land? 
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,892
    If a demarcated boundary was shown on your approved planning drawings then it forms part of that approval and removing it would invalidate your approval. You can carefully landscape the boundary into the garden and make it a feature rather than a barrier though.

    When you say wooded garden was it all part of one larger garden or were there boundaries between the garden and woods? Wooded areas are still usually classed as non-domestic unless you can show they were maintained as garden which can be tricky. If they're ornamental trees it may helps or if the ground is/was heavily planted with non-native garden plants under the trees.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,564
    If the neighbour simply gifted the land and nothing was ever formalised with Land Registry or others, that could be the basis of the problem.  If deeds still show it as being part of the adjoining property the council may have a valid reason for demanding a formal boundary be shown.  There is also the possibility of any new neighbour looking at their deeds and demanding that land back.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,267
    A neighbour kindly gave us a small part of their garden (they didn’t want the responsibility of maintaining a twenty foot high stone retaining wall really).  In return we agreed, for our part, to pay for the change of the boundary to be registered with the Land Registry. Our title deeds now show the piece of land as belonging to us.

    As KT says, word of mouth is no proof of ownership.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Sorry, i should have clarified, it was legally gifted and we now own the land officially. My point before was that it was garden ( no boundaries anywhere within her garden) and then it simply changed ownership to us. In my mind the use should stay the same as garden. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,298
    Then I think the solicitors who dealt with the Deed of Gift are the ones to help you. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

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