FOI Request Fence and Light Disputes

Request 101001541807 

Fence

1. If you get enquiries or complaints about what to do about fences and walls between residential properties located in back gardens, where one resident believes a fence or wall belonging to the neighbouring resident is danger to health and safety, does the council have a policy for inspecting the fence or wall?

2. Could you supply me a copy of the policy for inspecting the fence or wall?

3. How many complaints or enquiries have you received in last 5 years about fences or walls between residential properties?

4. Which department gets involved in these residential fence and wall matters?

5. Is there a particular law the policy is under?

Movement sensor lights

6. If you get enquiries or complaints about what to do about movement sensor flood light being installed in back gardens of residential properties gardens which triggers when a different neighbour on other side goes to their garden to hang their clothes or do gardening or to sit in the garden, does the council have a policy to prevent this trespass by sensor, nuisance by flood light illuminating which stops them from enjoying the garden?

7. Could you supply me a copy of the policy?

8. How many complaints or enquiries have you received in last 5 years about movement sensor flood lights in residential properties?

9. Which department gets involved in these residential fence and wall matters?

10. Is there a particular law the policy is under?.

Response 17-07-2017

1. Firstly, building owners are responsible for preventing their buildings falling into a dangerous condition. The powers given to local authorities in terms of the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 do not diminish this responsibility but are merely a ‘safety net’ that must be used to protect the public when it appears to a local authority that, for whatever reason, a building owner failed in the duty to fulfil this responsibility. For clarity a building by definition includes walls and fences.

A ‘dangerous’ wall or fence between residential properties generally will not be a risk to members of the public, only the residents. If a report is received by Building Standards of a potentially dangerous wall we have a duty to investigate and consider what action, if any, needs to be taken. It should be noted though that the first action is to contact the owner since, as stated above, it is their responsibility to remedy the situation. Building Standards will initially seek to establish exactly what the situation is by interrogation of the complainer, who the owner is and if there is any risk to the general public. An inspection would only take place if it was not possible to establish the condition or it was felt that there was indeed a risk to the safety of persons in the vicinity.

2. The requirements and actions taken by Building Standards is the duty as set out in the Building (Scotland) Act 2003 and stated above

3. The Building Standards Register is available online

http://public.moray.gov.uk/eplanning/search.do;jsessionid=8B6E7098DB5791F24F62856E77B88713?action=simple&searchType=ScottishBuildingWarrant

4. Building Standards only for dangerous buildings and building warrant matters

5. As above, the Building (Scotland) Act 2003

6. Moray Council does not have a policy in respect of this therefore this information is exempt under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - Information Not Held. 

7. N/A

8. Since 2012 to the current date a total of three of these complaints have been received by the Environmental Health Section.

9. The Environmental Health Section would investigate complaints relating to movement sensory lights.

10. These complaints are investigated in terms of the statutory nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

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