George Clooney.. and his eyesore fence

Dispute Resolution - 1 minute read

Any news article about Oxfordshire’s very own heartthrob George Clooney is, in all honesty, likely to attract my attention but as a property lawyer an article about George and a planning dispute over a fence really does tick all the boxes!

It would appear that George has upset local planners by erecting a green mesh fence along the edge of the Thames where it adjoins his garden. An enforcement notice was served but although the deadline for removing the fence expired a month ago it is still very much in place. This despite the fact that George has consent to erect a much more tasteful wicker fence 12 yards from the river bank.

For purely professional reasons of course I will be keeping a close eye on this story – it will be interesting to see whether local planners take action to remove the fence themselves or allow matters to run on unresolved. Having helped out a number of disgruntled clients over the years upset at what they felt was heavy handed treatment from local planners I wonder whether George will be given special treatment because of his celebrity status.

The Clooneys were given three months to move the fence but it remains in place more than a month after the deadline set by South Oxfordshire District Council. Failure to comply with the order could result in council workmen removing the fence.

Council vice-chairman Paul Harrison said: ‘I would prefer the fence not to be there at all. The previous owners didn’t need any fence there.

‘I’m sorry George Clooney feels he has to live behind a fence ... He’s blocking his views but it also destroys the view along the river. I will be pushing for enforcement action.’