'It's barmy', homeowner fumes as council threatens to BULLDOZE £12,000 wall because it's just 20cm too high | The Sun

A HOMEOWNER has fumed "it's barmy" as the council threatens to BULLDOZE part of his home because of a rule violation.

Bear Mason, 74, built a pricey £12,000 wall in the summer to replace his tatty and broken-down fence which sat around the boarder of his garden.

The 4ft tower of stone was erected two-feet lower than the original fence – but has been deemed to break regulations because it's 20cm too high.

Council bosses informed Bear that someone had complained about his 20-metre long wall – ordering him to tear it down.

Troubles worsened for the retired maths teacher when the authority realised he hadn't sought planning permission.

Bear, who lives in the village of Greenhead, Northumberland, said he is now a "prisoner" because of the council's ruling as he can't afford to have the wall lowered.

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He said: "This summer we paid £12,000 on a beautiful new wall between our garden and the road.

"It is lower than the rickety fence it replaced.

"Northumberland County Council have told us that they are now going to bulldoze it down unless we pay to have it lowered by eight inches.

"The wooden fence was 1.8m high and was falling to bits, and it was liable to collapse in high winds.

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"We built the wall to a height of 1.2m externally for health and safety reasons as internally there is a 2m drop into the garden, onto rocks.

"At 1.2m walkers and drunk people cannot sit on it, and topple over but at 1m high, which is the planning stipulation, the situation is far more perilous.

"Because the wooden fence was much taller than it's stone replacement, we had no idea it or the new wall would contravene their regulations.

"We are pensioners. We don't have £12,000 to rebuild it.

"Our wall is so much nicer than what was there before and safe. We are mortified.

"Most of the fences and walls in the village are above 6ft in height but because they have stood for more than four years they are exempt from the planning laws.

"The whole thing is barmy."

Bear and his wife Sharon, 64, have since agreed to disconnect the wall from a Grade I listed bridge.

They are now applying for retrospective planning permission to retain their wall at its current height.

A spokesperson from Northumberland County Council said: "We were made aware that a wall had been built at this property without planning permission.

"On further inspection it was found to be attached to a listed bridge.

"For that reason it is not acceptable and we have asked that it is removed.

"We have also given the householder the option to reduce it in height to one metre and remove it from the listed bridge."

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