Littlehampton couple's anger after fence is replaced with plastic mesh for months

Trevor and Janet Seagraves were not happy about the replacement to the fence
Trevor and Janet Seagraves were not happy about the replacement to the fence

A Littlehampton couple have expressed their frustration after a fence was left partially knocked down for months.

But their neighbour, who took down the fence as part of an extension project, said he has been working within the law.

Trevor Seagraves and his wife, Janet, who own a ground-floor flat in Parkside Court, in Meadow Way, Littlehampton, said to their ‘surprise and disbelief’ the dividing fence between the properties was taken down last September.

In its place, an orange plastic mesh runner was put up, which Mr Seagraves said ‘was not very attractive’, and left them with a view into the building site next door.

The 64-year-old claimed that despite speaking to solicitors and his managing agents, nothing could be done – so he had to take matters into his own hands and board up the gap.

He said the situation had left him feeling ‘extremely frustrated and extremely angry’.

He said: “When you own your own property, you never imagine that somebody can do that and it suddenly appears there is nothing you can do about it.”

Regarding the plastic fence, Mr Seagraves said it offered them no privacy when they were sat outside.

He said: “Janet likes to sit in the garden and it has completely spoiled that coming into summer.”

He was also surprised that works next door were being done on a Sunday. “I thought Sunday was sacrosanct”, he said.

Their neighbour Tony Szulc said the fence was removed so a digger could get into his back garden for the extension works, which he has been doing himself.

He said he had the permission of the freeholder of Parkside Court to take down the fence, and was working ‘under strict instructions’ from Arun District Council, which had inspected the site three times and allowed him to continue the project. Mr Szulc added that the orange plastic ‘fence’ was a health and safety requirement.

He said he ‘had no axe to grind’ with Mr Seagraves, adding: “He has a bee in his bonnet, but I have not done anything untoward or illegal.”

Mr Seagraves claimed the hole in the fence could have posed a safety risk had a young child ran into Mr Szulc’s back garden.

But Mr Szulc said that he rarely saw children playing in the garden next door.