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Torfaen, planning permission approved for Pontypool fence

A 1.8 metre high fence will be erected behind a row of terraced homes – despite claims it will “confine” residents and restrict their “freedom of movement”.

The v-mesh security fence, and gates, will run along a retaining wall at Afon Llwyd Close in Pontypool and from the backs of numbers 98 to 111a Osborne Road, which are above the housing estate.

Torfaen Borough Council’s planning department has given the authority permission for the fence which it says is required for health and safety reasons and to try and deter fly tipping.

There is a strip of land, covered in vegetation and several trees, above the retaining wall and the council wants to limit access to prevent falls, as well as fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour and to prevent vegetation from overgrowing and spreading to Afon Llwyd Close.

The 88m long fence would also have three, 2m tall, access gates which are likely to locked.

The fence will run alongside this wall at Afon Llwyd Close in Pontypool. Picture: Google Street View

Two residents living nearby objected to the council’s application and the fence was compared to a “prison structured fence” at steps leading to the nearby medical centre.

The objector said: “That fence is already disheartening to the community. This, together with the proposed fence, may encourage anti-social behaviour, devalue properties and inhibit the occupants of Osborne Road from freedom of movement. In effect, creating a confining, uninhabitable environment.”

Another asked that more time be taken to find a “more neighbourhood friendly solution” while the council was also questioned over why a wooden fence, that had been in place for more than 15 years, wasn’t strengthened.

According to the council the fence won’t look out of place as it will be viewed with the existing dwellings on Osborne Road and their rear fencing. The proposed v-mesh fence would be less bulky than a solid fence and the dark green colour would have a “subtle appearance” that would reflect the existing vegetation.

It isn’t planned to remove any trees to make way for the fence and the council’s tree officer offered no objections so long as the posts were dug by hand and they are notified if the roots of any branches are disturbed.

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Though it is a requirement that all planning applications provide an ecological enhancement the council hasn’t suggested any but the planning department will require it to do so before work starts.