Conservation Area Gets ‘Colditz’ Makeover

Grove Park residents up in arms over barbed wire fence
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Angry Grove Park residents have demanded to know why the view from their windows has been transformed into something reminiscent of Colditz.

In correspondence sent to Network Rail, Council leader Peter Thompson and cc’d to one resident wrote, “I awoke this morning to find the fence opposite my house replaced with a barbed wire monstrosity looking like something out of 'Colditz'. All greenery was removed and the original wooden fence taken away. I thought I lived in a 'Conservation Area'? Were I to do a similar thing myself I would be immediately forced to tear it down.”

Another resident stated that “The houses at the Grove Park end of Sutton Court Road overlook the railway. We tax payers have had to endure years of unsightly graffiti (only recently painted out) on the wall opposite our homes as our only view, and so the pleasant wooden picket fence, along with the ivy, shrubs and greenery was our only solace.”

She went onto describe how the Network Rail contractors tore down the old wooden fencing during the night and ‘massacred the greenery’ and installing a ‘ghetto style mesh wire fencing, tall bright silver aluminium posts, and barbed wire’ in its place. “It beggars belief that this can happen, when there was absolutely no consultation whatsoever with the residents, or seemingly the Council.”

Although the decision whether or not to replace the fence does not lie with the council, residents cite comments made by Peter Thompson from an interview published shortly after he was elected leader of Hounslow Council including "People in the immediate area should make decisions. At the end of the day, you have to trust people and local residents tend to know what is best for their area."

Responsibility for line-side fencing in non-station areas rests with Network Rail. A spokesperson for Hounslow Council said that the removal of the old fence and the erection of the new wire one was allowed under permitted development and therefore there was no need for Network Rail to seek planning permission.

June 6, 2008