Broadchurch actress ordered to take down 'ugly' fence

2011 Comic Con Portraits - Day Three - San Diego
2011 Comic Con Portraits - Day Three - San Diego

Broadchurch actress Eve Myles has been ordered to take down a seven-foot fence running across the front of her Cardiff home.

After moving into the seven-bedroom, semi-detached house three years ago, the 37-year-old actress had the fence built on top of a low wall. She apparently didn't realise that she needed planning permission as the house is in a conservation area.

But when she applied retrospectively, she was refused after her neighbours objected.

"It's a big ugly fence and completely out of character for the area. The road is in a conservation area and this fence stuck out like a sore thumb," one told the South Wales Evening Post.

She's now been ordered to take the fence down by June 10.

Ms Myles, who won a BAFTA Cymru award for her role in Torchwood, shares the house with actor husband Bradley Freegard and their daughters Matilda, six, and Siena, 18 months. And she may soon have another planning battle on her hands, having applied for permission to install gates across their drive.

Conservation areas are designated by local councils as having special architectural and historic interest - Cardiff has 27 in all.

They place special requirements on home owners, such as restrictions on the type of front door, the positioning of satellite dishes or even the type of guttering used on the house.

Residents of conservation areas also need permission for any work to trees - something that's cost people tens of thousands of pounds in the past when they've ignored the rules.

Fences, meanwhile, can often be refused permission if they're deemed ugly or out of keeping - a particular problem for the famous who want to avoid prying eyes.

Two years ago, for example, Titanic star Kate Winslet ended up selling her 15th century home in Sussex after the council refused permission for a six-foot fence and gates around the property.

Even George Clooney has been told to take down a fence bordering the Thames river bank at his £10 million Berkshire mansion, as it's been ruled too close to the water; it's now being replaced with trees.

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