Homeowner may have to demolish wall
A GOVERNMENT inspector could order a homeowner to demolish a brightly-painted wall surrounding his house beside the A140.It is the latest twist in a long-running saga over the orange wall at the property at Thwaite, which is passed by thousands of motorists every day.
By John Howard
A GOVERNMENT inspector could order a homeowner to demolish a brightly-painted wall surrounding his house beside the A140.
It is the latest twist in a long-running saga over the orange wall at the property at Thwaite, which is passed by thousands of motorists every day.
Property owner Gary Banham is locked in a dispute with Mid Suffolk District Council, which claims the wall was put up without planning permission, it is too high and is unsuitable for a country house.
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This week, Anne Parkhill, an inspector from the Government's Planning Inspectorate, has met council officials and Mr Banham to discuss the matter. She will now decide the wall's fate, with a verdict expected within eight weeks.
She could order it to be demolished and all traces of it removed, order it be repainted in a more sober colour, or simply tell the council that Mr Banham is quite within his rights to keep it as it is.
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Chris Stathers, from the council's enforcement team, said: “The wall was built without planning permission at about the end of 2004.
“The wall is taller than would be allowed without permission and the colour is not part of the dispute, but everyone goes 'oh my God' as soon as they see it.
“The council sees this as an isolated house in the countryside, and it is not common for the A140 or mid Suffolk to see this type of wall round a country house, it breaks up the countryside feel on the A140.”
But Mr Banham argues that the wall harms no-one and he should be allowed to keep it, possibly with the help of shrubbery to lesson its impact or by repainting it. He believes the higher wall is necessary to maintain privacy from the HGVs passing on the A140.
The inspector will not be taking into consideration the colour of the house and the matter relates purely to the wall.
It is understood, however, that the council has been investigating whether a planning breach has occurred regarding the house itself, which is also painted orange.