Family doomed to darkness after neighbor builds 8ft fence just 12in from their home

“It suddenly went DARK” – A builder erected an 8ft fence just a foot away from a family’s front door, cutting the sunlight to their home. 

Rob Shepherd, 38, from Portslade, near Brighton, East Sussex, has been living with his family in a bungalow for over 20 years. Recently, their neighbor Michael Fitzsimons, a builder living next door for the last three years, decided to extend his property with an 8ft-tall fence.

Credits: Brighton Pictures

As per Daily Mail, Shepherd, an architect’s technician, said:

“Everything was fine until Michael moved in around three years ago. He is a builder and he started doing all sorts to the house with planning consent, a new extension, and a porch. Then suddenly a little over a week ago he started erecting a fence. We were in the front room when it suddenly went dark – we thought a huge raincloud was over us.”

As Rob opened the window, he saw the massive fence being erected right next to it.

The distressed man continued:

“It is causing so much stress for my family I don’t know whether we can continue living here. We haven’t slept and I’ve got bags under my eyes from the worry of it all. It is also affecting the health of my children.”

Credits: Brighton Pictures

The dad-of-three explained:

“My 17-year-old is very distressed by it and my daughter is extremely upset. We have rented this house for 20 years and it is home to us and our children and we don’t want to be forced to leave.”

Shepherd, who suffers from Seasonal Affected Disorder, said the situation is “dreadful” for everyone in his family. 

He added:

“My son is autistic and when he heard the drilling right outside his room he was going wild. My five-year-old daughter was beside herself as well. They were drilling right outside the window and she is very, very distressed by the whole thing. When we’re sitting in the front room now it’s like it’s nighttime because it’s so dark.”

Credits: Brighton Pictures

Because the fence does not require planning permission, the council has refused to get involved, claiming it was a civil matter. However, Shepherd firmly believes his family has a “right to light.” 

Rob and his wife Sarah are now appealing to the city’s planners and local councilors to step in. The aggravated dad said:

“Our landlord is really angry about this because if we move out then the property is going to be very difficult to rent out because of the lack of natural light. 

We have told the police we are happy to go into mediation with our neighbours over this but they have categorically refused.”

Shephard concluded:

“It’s silly when things get this bad – all we want is to live our lives.”

Credits: Brighton Pictures

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