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Horley residents angry over 'monstrous' fence

By Gatwick & Horley Mirror  |  Posted: October 08, 2011

  • The fence which is causing offence to Acres residents in Horley

  • Householders say the playground fence is entirely out of character

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RESIDENTS of a newly-built estate say their view has been ruined by a "monstrosity" of a fence.

The householders, who recently moved into the Acres development in Horley, believe the fence around the children's play area, erected after they came to live there, is out of character.

They are demanding the developer, Barratt Homes, replace it, and after the Mirror put the community's complaints to the company this week, a senior staff member said efforts would be made to hide the fence.

Anna van Gemer, a 28-year-old Google account manager, said: "I moved in three months ago. The five-bedroom houses around here are half-a-million pounds, the four-bedrooms are between £300,000 and £400,000.

"I bought it for the view of the country lane, especially the oak tree, but now that's kind of horrible. The fence should be wood, in keeping with the equipment and also in keeping with the other fences. My boyfriend said it's like something you put cattle in.

"If I was one door up, where it faces directly on – I would not have purchased the house."

Deryck Wills, 27, an online sales executive, added: "You've got this beautiful wooden fence around the entire complex, and lovely wooden fences separating houses within the complex, but then this silver monstrosity of a fence around the playground right in front of four houses."

Neighbour Daniel Newton, 28, a security engineer, agreed – despite being a father of an 18-month-old with another child on the way.

He said: "I was told the fence has to be like that to comply with regulations, but if you look at the fence in the centre of Langshott they have got lovely wooden fencing."

Barratt's southern counties planning manager Robert Phillips said: "As a legal requirement of the development's planning conditions, the play facility and the fencing surrounding the area in question were installed in agreement with the local council.

"It is obviously disappointing to hear that the fencing has resulted in some complaints. We will now be considering the best way to improve the aesthetics of the play area without compromising the safety of the children."

Barratt Homes has now said it has moved the fence back by a metre, and would be placing a hedge around the area.

Mr Newton added: "I can't see why a wooden fence isn't good enough, but we'll be happy enough if they put a hedge in."

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