Residents fuming as developer blocks stunning valley view with two-metre high fence

The large wooden fence was put up without warning last week in front of benches commonly used by walkers in Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland. It overlooks several homes and the owners say their view has been ruined. 

Lorraine Twizell, who lives in the village on Hadrian’s Wall, said: “The whole village is very angry. There is a woman and her disabled son who like to come here and bird watch and he’s very distressed. People also come here and watch the fireworks at New Year and on Bonfire Night.

“The benches are also used by people walking from Newburn, Wylam, and Throckley.

“It’s a viewing point which lots of the villagers come and use, and now the view is totally gone.”

Maureen Gibson, who lives on the same street, said: “They had said this hedge had been overgrown and untidy.

“I’ve lived here 60 years and it’s never been untidy. It’s childish.”

Hamilton Willis, the property developer behind the fence, recently had a planning application for four new homes on the street rejected, reports Chronicle Live.

It lodged an appeal, which is set to be heard next month.


But residents feel the fence itself should have had planning permission and have complained to Northumberland County Council.

Lorraine added: “At the planning meeting we won, so we thought it was all over – but on January 4 we got a message saying the developer was going to take the decision to appeal. That’s where the case is currently sitting.

“This must have been going on a couple of years now. In the appeal documents they’ve said they’ve been considerate to local residents, but they haven’t.”

The authority, controlled by the Tories, said an officer will visit the site, which is near a main road, in the next few weeks.

A spokesperson said: “We are aware of this issue which is at the very early stages of investigation. An officer will be visiting the site in the coming weeks to determine if the fence requires planning permission.

“Everyone who has been in touch with the council about this matter will be informed of the outcome of the site visit.”

Hamilton Willis, based in Newcastle, has been approached for comment by and Chronicle Live.

The row comes after a council in Devon ordered a fence to be removed recently – because it had obstructed a right of way on a rural road.

Andrew William Fields and his partner Anja were embroiled in a two-year dispute with their neighbours over the structure.

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