Get off the fence! Gary urges council to make decision he says could save lives

Issue 665

LIVES are at risk due to a fence stopping drivers seeing their way out onto a busy Dewsbury road.

That is the view of resident Gary Flowers, right, who commissioned his own report into traffic problems on Wakefield Road.

Northern Transport Planning agree visibility is “severly restricted to the detriment of highway safety”.

The fence, pictured, fronting onto Wakefield Road, was put up in June 2013, allegedly without permission.

Retired plumber Mr Flowers, 67, said no enforcement action was taken and now a retrospective planning application has been made.

He added neighbours cannot see traffic or pedestrians when exiting from parking at the rear of their homes.

Mr Flowers said: “My biggest worry is Wakefield Road is a major walking route for school children.

“Kids will be kids in that they’ll cross the road where they want rather than use the traffic island which might be safer.”

Andrew Kirby, for Northern Transport Planning, noted the fence varies from 2m to 2.5m in height.

Fences taller than 1m next to roads need planning permission to make sure drivers can see.

Mr Kirby, who sent his report to Kirklees Council, concluded the safety risks are so serious that permission should be refused.

Mr Flowers added that the neighbours do get on, and he has written to the fence owner apologising for having to complain.

He said: “Sadly, the fence looks more like what you’d find on a farm or on a big back garden.

“I did hear at one time that wrought-iron railings were proposed. They would have been nice but I don’t know what happened to them.”

A council spokeswoman said following complaints the owner was told planning permission should have been sought.

She added: “This resulted in the submission of the retrospective planning application.

“Officers are now considering the application, including the impact upon the users of the highway.

“The council will review the matter once the application has been determined.”

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