Council’s temporary fence finally taken down after 14 years


A “temporary” fence costing a council £75 a week is finaCouncil’s temporary fence finally taken down after 14 yearslly coming down… 14 years after it was erected.
Medway Council has splashed out £50,000 on the hoardings to protect a footpath since the retaining wall was deemed a “serious health and safety risk” in 2009.
In the 14 years since it was put up in Gillingham, Kent, there have been several plans to make the wall safe and remove the fencing, but they have yet to come to fruition.
As a row of private lock-up garages backed onto the wall, there had been trouble reaching an agreement with the company which owns the garages.
However, work finally began to replace two wall sections this week, starting with removing vegetation and demolishing several garages.
Yet the saga isn’t quite over: the project is expected to last 23 weeks, meaning it will only be done around Christmas.
Walkers dubbed the fence an “eyesore”, with weathering, graffiti and overgrown vegetation appearing over the years.

A document submitted by the council also said the hoardings were unsafe.

Former Labour councillor Andy Stamp said: “It’s a road safety issue for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians: if drivers are turning out the bottom of Camden Road onto the dual carriageway, the hoardings restrict visibility for people turning out, and if you’re a cyclist you have the same issue.
“Also, for pedestrians, because the hoardings are there, the footpath along that stretch of Pier Road is narrow.”
In November, then Cllr Stamp had also asked Medway how much money it had spent on the fencing.
Conservative Cllr Gary Hackwell, the portfolio holder for business management, revealed the council had spent £75 per week renting the hoardings. Since then, they would have cost another £2,000 of taxpayer money.
A boss of a beauty firm threatened an Oxford-educated businessman and his partner a ‘shower’ of cat poo amid a dispute over four inches of the garden, court hears.

Laureen Watson, 65, has gone to war with her next-door neighbours, Chris Cole, 38, and Ami Komoda, 37, claiming their fence strays four inches into her garden in Disraeli Close, Chiswick, London, as well as objecting to them extending into their back garden.
She wants a court order forcing her neighbours to tear down their new extension, an injunction barring the couple or their builders from straying onto her land, and compensation for alleged damage during construction works.
But Mr Cole and Ms Komoda are countersuing, claiming they have been victims of a campaign of harassment that has ruined their enjoyment of their first years as new parents.
They blame Ms Watson’s ‘disgraceful’ behaviour for the neighbours’ row. They demand that she is made to pay their substantial lawyers’ bills for fighting the ‘ultimately trivial’ and ‘wholly unnecessary’ dispute.

Council Removes Temporary Fence After 14-Year Presence

She took issue with the couple over the position of the boundary line between their homes and the siting of their new fence, said the couple’s barrister, Thomas Rothwell, reaching a pitch of frustration where they had to rebuild it in 2019 after she allegedly inflicted ‘wilful damage’.
Tensions had been cranked up when Mr Cole and Ms Komoda decided to extend their home into the garden in 2018, prompting unsuccessful objections to the council from Ms Watson about planning permission – and later on about her neighbour building on the party wall line.
Mr Cole and Ms Komoda claim their neighbour responded to their formal letter notifying them that the works would be carried out by ‘throwing it back over the fence’ and passing a note through their letterbox reading, ‘You got my response in the letter. Don’t come back to my door again’.
When builders started work on their extension in May 2019, Mr Cole and Ms Komoda claimed complaints from Ms Watson again targeted them. However, the site scaffolding ‘protruded only minimally’ and ‘did not touch or otherwise interfere with her house’.

Council’s Temporary Fence Taken Down, Marking a New Chapter

And when the work got underway, Ms Watson allegedly demanded that the scaffolding be taken down, ‘screamed and shouted abuse’, and ‘threw buckets of water and other debris in the direction of their builders’.
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Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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