Judge bids for fence approval

A FENCE and hedge designed to separate a judge’s land from an adjacent property following an incident in which her dog attacked a neighbour’s son has now led to a planning issue.

In December last year, Beatrice Bolton was found guilty at Carlisle Magistrates Court of allowing her pet German Shepherd to bite 20-year-old Frederick Becker.

Judge Bolton has now applied for retrospective planning permission to build a fence to support a hedge that is growing at her home in Whitton, near Rothbury. The hedge is to separate the land that the neighbours share in front of the property.

Residents and the parish council have objected to the application on the grounds that it is out of keeping with the listed building and the case will be decided at tonight’s meeting of the county council’s area planning committee north.

In a supporting letter with her application, Judge Bolton described how the judge hearing her case had criticised her for not having erected a fence sooner.

She continued: “The Malias have steadfastly refused to allow me to construct any boundary feature in order to prevent my animals from entering their land both before and after the incident.

“It was confirmed to me that I did not require permission to erect a hedge and as a matter of urgency I did so. However, I did not realise that notwithstanding the fact that the fence was secondary to the hedge, I needed to make an application. I do so now.”

The planning officer has recommended that temporary permission is granted until June 2013 to allow the fence to remain until the hedge has grown.