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Neighbour's fence and sheds privacy issues

JerryYorkshireJerryYorkshire Posts: 3
edited June 2020 in Problem solving
Hi everyone,
I am hoping someone will be able to give me some advice on neighbouring fencing and privacy issues we are having. Our garden has a long fence along one side which seperate us from two of our neighbours. One neighbour overlooks our back garden and the other overlooks the front.

Now just recently our neighbour in the back garden has removed a large shed that he had up which whilst it was not the best looking thing, it did provide quite a bit of privacy for us; our neighbours both have raised decks that go about half way up the 6ft fence so they are constantly overlooking us when they are out, and they have a collection of old sheds and outbuildings. The neighbour who removed the large shed has now built a smaller shed from the remains and put it in a different position (still up against the fence), but it is not a pretty to look at.

Our neighbour out the front has also just had a large oak tree removed from his garden which again gave us a lot of privacy, now we are left with a view of a old summerhouse and numerous other outbuildings.

We are just wondering whether we have any rights to privacy and whether or not there is anything that can be done about it all. Ideally we would love it if we could have a fence that was actually 6ft on their side (rather than 3-4ft) so they could not see over at all and we could not see any of their sheds.

I have tried to put some photos together with a few details to give a better idea.

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks everyone!



  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    You are in a difficult position. I really do sympathise with you if your neighbours have been thoughtless enough to build decking so high that they can see over the fence. If you are on a new estate, your house deeds might tell you what you can and cannot do. (Ours for example states that we can't put a wall around our front garden or keep chickens! amongst other things).
    If I was in your position I would be looking for some legal advice as these issues can get very messy. The Citizens Advice Bureau might be a good place to start, when they are open. Here advice would be free of charge. You might also look into whether they obtained permission to fell the tree. Looking at its size, it might not have been necessary, but if it predated the buildings it might not have been allowed and if so, another tree might need to be planted. If so, you would have to be patient waiting for it to grow.
    Disputes like this can cause much I'll feeling on both sides so it must be approached carefully.
    Increasing the height of the fence might need planning permission and could be a double edged sword as a much higher structure could put your garden into constant shade and look overbearing. 
    Other solutions might be to grow tall plants along your boundaries to provide you with privacy, but they too might be troublesome and will take time to be high enough to be effective. 
    I hope that this helps. I have a feeling that you are not the first to post a problem like this, but I can't remember the headings to make it easy to search the site.

  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    Just had a look. Try searching for 'Privacy Issues'
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,473
    I'm not aware of any 'right to privacy' which would either prevent an adjoining property removing outbuildings or require them to put something else up to recover the lost privacy.  Properties can't generally be build with clear glazed windows overlooking other properties but that's not the situation you have.
    Unless there is anything in the property deeds, a householder doesn't even have to replace a fence 'like for like'.  They could replace a 6 foot close boarded fence with a couple of strands of wire.
  • dappledshadedappledshade Posts: 1,008
    Would you be allowed to secure lengths of trellis on your side if the fence, al the way along, up which you could grow some climbers to add height and privacy?
    Trellis, I believe, is classed as a removable structure, so technically is allowed in terms of adding height to an already 6ft high fence.
  • homebirdhomebird Posts: 110
    It looks like your neighbours gardens are on higher ground and that’s why they overlook your lovely garden. The only thing I could suggest is to plant trees into the raised bed along the side of your property. Good luck with solving this problem. 
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    Maybe a large pergola/arbour to give you some privacy when sitting out?

    We are overlooked on both sides by upstairs windows and this was the only workable solution for some privacy when sitting out in the garden. These issues are always thorny. 
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Posts: 834
    The amount of privacy you're going to get in any standard suburban garden is always going to be limited.  Its outdoor space, with someone else's outdoor space adjoining! 

    In my experience most people are quite considerate even when they can see into someone else's garden they don't stare, and they respect the invisible barrier and hope you do too! 

    Maybe a better solution is to learn to relax and accept that yes your neighbours can see and hear you, but so what?  You can see and hear them too but you aren't interested so the chances are neither are they!  You get your privacy inside your house  ;)
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,943
    As has been said by others, you don't really have a lot of options, short of moving house. Trees are one option, but they take time to reach a height that would be of any use, so l would say try a pergola or even two.
    You can plant over them to create a feature which gives you privacy and also more greenery.
    If you need more advice,  can you post a photo or two of the view from upstairs to give an idea of the angles required to give you the best chance of privacy? 
    There are members on here who are really clever at working those things out (not me, l'm afraid). 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,662
    In the back garden, I would go with @Bijdezee's suggestion of a gazebo/pergola behind your decking area. I think you can get metal ones with sliding fabric curtains/blinds, which would enable you to just pull them across whenever your neighbours are around.

    For the front garden, I would plant one or two quick growing buddelias in front of your fence, which should hide most of the neighbours' sheds. They have the advantage of being able to be kept cut down to the size you need, the flowers are attractive and attract pollinators. Buddelia 'Lochinch' has lovely silvery leaves, often semi-evergreen in our part of the world and pale purple flowers. Buddelia 'Black Knight' has very dark purple flowers if that's more to your liking. Either would go well with your existing rather lovely planting in that raised bed.

    I wouldn't stress too much about what you can see from the front, as you probaby don't spend much time out there. It's probably a case of being so used to seeing the oak tree, that it's now a shock with it gone. In time, you will get used to it.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    “Privacy issues”?  

    Did your property exist before the development surrounding you was built?
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