Erecting a fence alongside a boundary wall

pat1019

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Our neighbour owns the wall separating our back gardens. The wall is low and provides no privacy. The neighbour is really touchy about it and does not want any extra height.

Our only option is to erect a new fence on our own side, which is unattached to their wall. But, do we need to allow a space between the fence and the wall so they can 'maintain' our side of their wall? I know a wall requires negligible maintenance, but if they wanted to be awkward, could they create an issue on account of being unable to access 'our' side of their wall? The downside is that we could end up losing a foot or two of our garden...

For argument's sake, do they have a right to paint our side of their wall, and seek access to do that?

Thanks!
 

cmalone

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412
You are unfortunate to have such awkward neighbours.

do you know if wall is actually encroaching / on your property.?

sometimes u have to be ‘bite your tongue ‘ in such situations and get legal on such issues. Build/erect your own fence and enjoy your space.

Pat Kenny ended up in court with his neighbour over something that would have been best settled locally !
 

PaddyBloggit

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3,425
Unless you have an agreement in place with your neighbours, I would have thought that they have no right to come into your property to access that side of the wall.... I'm sure mf1 or another will clarify this. If they have no right to be in, I'd be placing my fence as close as possible to their wall. Fencing panels and such like don't need much space...
 

pat1019

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Thanks. Based on the remains of an earlier fence, the wall is entirely on their side, i.e. it doesn't straddle the boundary.
Also, it's a retaining wall, and at a particular point their ground slopes up and ours slopes down resulting in a wall of >2 metres as measured from our side, but because of the lay of the land, they are still easily able to look down at us. What options do you think I have there if I want to get some privacy: I'd need a fence >> 2 metres. It sounds like I'd need planning for that...
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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1,308
The neighbour is really touchy about it and does not want any extra height.
If relations are sour now they'll be absolutely bitter when you build a wall without the neighbour's agreement, even if it's on your side.

I'd try to negotiate this as far as you can (assuming you haven't).
 

pat1019

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If relations are sour now they'll be absolutely bitter when you build a wall without the neighbour's agreement, even if it's on your side.

I'd try to negotiate this as far as you can (assuming you haven't).
Thanks. That would be my inclination, as a courtesy. But it's very odd. They saw us looking at the area of the wall which is particularly low with a measuring tape and started shouting that it was theirs before storming off. No issues before that with them. There are the remains of a wall-topping fence (a few broken support poles) attached to the wall from our side, so it looks like there has been a privacy screen before. But the owners from that time are not contactable. I'm baffled because they lose out on privacy at the moment as well.
Anyone got any tips on how to secure one's privacy when one is on the overlooked side of a neighbour whose ground level is higher?
 
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ALEXA

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116
As far as I know ( and feel free to correct me! ) you are only allowed to erect a fence of up to 2 metres in height in your back garden. Going on what you've described this would be sufficient for the area where the neighbours' garden is on the same level as your's but not high enough where their garden level rises. Would you consider planting a tree that would grow and spread to give you privacy in that area? You can get some lovely cherry trees suitable for a small garden that will not grow huge but will give you privacy. Another solution is to plant a laurel hedge and I don't think there are any restrictions on hedge/tree heights so you could grow it as tall as required. You'd need to buy decent sized plants to begin so it wouldn't take so long for them to reach the desired height. Maintenance in the future would be required but fences also require maintenance.
 

pat1019

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Thanks for that suggestion. I’ve looked at mature/instant hedging as an option: it’s transplanted at an appropriate height. Anyone got any experience of that?
It then raises the question of cutting the hedge: if I put it against their wall will I need to offer to come onto their property to maintain it?
 

pat1019

Registered User
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14
messy! ... and annually

I'd be looking at a fence myself.
True. I was thinking of planting it a bit back from the wall so I could access it to cut it - so no complaint from them. The advantage is that I could go >2m in height. Because their ground is about a foot raised over mine, a 2m fence won’t quite do the trick.
Also, just been told that if I’m sinking posts for my fence I need to keep back from the wall in case I rupture the foundation footing. It’s a retainer wall so that could be 1.5 feet...This is far more complicated than it seemed originally.
 

Coldwarrior

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185
It then raises the question of cutting the hedge: if I put it against their wall will I need to offer to come onto their property to maintain it?
You wouldn't need to maintain the hedge on their side, if it grows over their wall they can cut the part that extends into their property if they want. I'd still offer to cut/maintain that side, but if they decline its up to them to maintain it or leave it be.
 

galway_blow_in

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1,593
i did this a few years ago on a terraced property i own and which is now leased to the council on a long term lease , erected the wooden panels inside the wall , looked way better and added privacy

didnt occur to me that i might need permission , neighbours didnt complain and neither did the local authority
 

Leo

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11,074
Metal palisade or security fencing would require planning permission.

Also, just been told that if I’m sinking posts for my fence I need to keep back from the wall in case I rupture the foundation footing. It’s a retainer wall so that could be 1.5 feet
Do a little exploratory digging and establish where this is. If it's their wall it should not be encroaching on your property.

If you have the space to use concrete h-posts on your side of the boundary, these could be perfect. The fencing penels retained between the posts can be lifted out pretty easily to facilitate maintenance of their wall, or painting of the fence panel itself.

To address the height issue, you could import some topsoil to build up the ground level on your side closer to theirs.

For argument's sake, do they have a right to paint our side of their wall, and seek access to do that?
The Land And Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 entitles them to access to maintain such structures, and also seek a Works Orders via the courts for access to your property if you refuse to cooperate.
 

pat1019

Registered User
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14
Why not think outside the box and do something with hoarding? It could look good too:

https://www.bloknmesh.ie/blockade-hoarding-system/

Keep the ugly side to the back!
Metal palisade or security fencing would require planning permission.



Do a little exploratory digging and establish where this is. If it's their wall it should not be encroaching on your property.

If you have the space to use concrete h-posts on your side of the boundary, these could be perfect. The fencing penels retained between the posts can be lifted out pretty easily to facilitate maintenance of their wall, or painting of the fence panel itself.

To address the height issue, you could import some topsoil to build up the ground level on your side closer to theirs.



The Land And Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 entitles them to access to maintain such structures, and also seek a Works Orders via the courts for access to your property if you refuse to cooperate.
That's interesting about using top soil to increase the height on my side. Am I right in thinking one can increase the level by 1m without planning permission? But - as far as I know, the 2m height restriction on a fence must be from unaltered ground level. Any advice on that would be welcome!
I was also exploring putting up a 2m fence and getting the extra 0.4m I need to get complete privacy by adding some plants/hedging that could attach safely to the top of the fence. Thinking of clip-on trays with some greenery. That would stop the eye-level contact with the neighbour on the higher ground.
 

Leo

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11,074
There are no res
Am I right in thinking one can increase the level by 1m without planning permission? But - as far as I know, the 2m height restriction on a fence must be from unaltered ground level.
You are permitted to landscape and alter ground levels within your garden. It's safe to assume that the ground levels in both gardens has been altered in the past, retaining walls are generally only required when making such alterations.

See here:

The most likely interpretation from the planning authority, or An Bord Pleanála on referral, is likely to be that the height of the structure cannot exceed 2m when measured from the ground level outside the site

I was also exploring putting up a 2m fence and getting the extra 0.4m I need to get complete privacy by adding some plants/hedging that could attach safely to the top of the fence.
You mean like attaching a planter / tray of some description toward the top of the fence? That'd seriously up the structural requirements of the fence to hold that weight of soil when wet.
 

pat1019

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14
There are no res


You are permitted to landscape and alter ground levels within your garden. It's safe to assume that the ground levels in both gardens has been altered in the past, retaining walls are generally only required when making such alterations.

See here:






You mean like attaching a planter / tray of some description toward the top of the fence? That'd seriously up the structural requirements of the fence to hold that weight of soil when wet.
That's great advice about the weight of the wet soil...possibly eliminates it as an option.
Thanks too for the link to the advice from SCSI. My problem vanishes if that is the case, i.e., as measured from outside the site, as the fence would be 2m from the neighbour's point of view. But if you look at the case study upon which that advice is based, outside the site in that case is the lower height...and I think that's what matters - the height, not inside/outside the site...and that's my problem...
 

pat1019

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My reading of that case is what mattered was how it looked from outside, as that's what impacts on others.
That would fix my situation. A 2.4m fence on my side - 2m as measured from their side - gets me the privacy I need. If it was objected to, it would be nice to think that the planning authority would look sympathetically on it.
To be honest, I'm thinking that to be sure of my ground (pardon the pun), there's no alternative to either asking our solicitor for advice, or asking the council for a section 5 declaration for a 2.4m fence (2m as measured from neighbour's side)....
 
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