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Sex at bottom of garden leads to planning dispute

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 06, 2014

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A HOMEOWNER who built a fence to stop drug taking and antisocial behaviour behind her garden could see it torn down after a complaint was made.

Danielle Simonds, of Merton Close, Church Gresley, has been forced to apply for planning permission from South Derbyshire District Council to keep her fence in place after the authority received a complaint.

In a statement to the planning authority Miss Simonds, who bought her home in 2011, said: “There was an area of land behind the garden fence that was part of the property. This land was overgrown with weeds. There was also an area of grass behind the parking spaces that was not fenced in, and was subjected to dog fouling.

“From very early on there were considerable problems with young people congregating behind the fencing in the area that was overgrown with weeds. These young people were drinking and behaving in an antisocial way often bottles, cans and condoms were found in the garden in the morning.”

Because of the layout of the area the overgrown area and grass at the side of the property were used as a rat run for youths and people who had been drinking as they could get from the main road to the estate using this.

The council has also been told that when the fence work was being carried out needles from drug users were also found in the weeded area, posing a danger to anyone going down there.

It was the police who recommended that the overgrown area should be fenced in. Contact with the district council established no permission was needed and work started.

However, work was almost complete when a nearby resident said the land belonged to the district council and should not be fenced in. Despite plans and letters being shown to the man, he made a complaint to the council.

The statement added: “The district council agreed work could be completed and now it has stopped the antisocial behaviour and blocked the rat run, although the problem has moved down to the lakes at the lower end of the estate.

“The environmental benefit has been made better through the planting of shrubs and trees rather than the previous weeds which had no environmental benefit.

“The fence has stopped the antisocial behaviour, drinking, drug taking and sex in the area as there is no longer a through route into an area which is difficult to observe.”

A decision is due on February 27.

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