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Screening neighbours & building planters

Discussion in 'In the Garden' started by Pink Elephant, 7 Aug 2018.

  1. Pink Elephant

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    I'm looking at screening off our neighbours to the rear as i feel privacy is zero from that end of our garden and i'm just looking for tips & ideas. If anything is to be made then we'd need to get someone to do it as neither of us are DIY-minded.

    Basically the neighbour to the rear has had a swimming pool built in the garden right up against the dividing wall. Right along this wall must be a platform because when the numerous kids are there it's as though they're pretty much stood on top of the wall. It's up high enough to mean that as they're stood there their knees will be about level with the top of the wall.
    They'll often be leaning over in to our garden shouting top notch to the kids at the front of our house. We've been out in the garden before where they don't stop with their questioning - what's your name, what's that, what's that, so on & so forth. Granted that doesn't happen a lot but it happens. We were going to have a seating area towards the bottom but thankfully we didn't start because as they divebomb in to the pool it just splashes all over where that area would be.

    They've also been flying drones in & about our garden area & our neighbours garden areas. Now while i don't believe they want to see through the window as we're on the toilet, it just adds to the feeling of a lack of privacy, especially when it's flying level with the bedroom windows & you can see the camera turn to face you.


    What we're basically looking to achieve is to screen them off so they can't see in to our garden, can't lean over in to our garden & therefore can't be shouting full volume to the kids at the front of our house so that we have to have windows shut as it gets that bloody irritating.

    We're thinking of a good planter, possibly brick or block built across the back wall & built up (so that we don't have to wait on the trees or bushes growing).
    What to plant in there we don't really know what's best. We understand that it'll cost a fair whack to buy good-to-go bushes and trees and obviously less for smaller ones if you're prepared to wait on them growing. We can wait, BUT we'd like them to grow to screen the kids off before it's time for them to leave home & get a place of their own (i'd guess they're about 8-11 now).


    Open to suggestions on what to do with the bottom end to achieve this. If going the bushes / trees route then what sort? Again like i say, their knees come to the top of the wall which is probably abut 6ft / 7ft as it is - so it'd need to grow high enough.

    Photo 05-08-2018, 5 48 52 pm.jpg

    ^^ It's in that thumbnail. Basically along where the porto blocks are. We're quite happy to pull up the slate and rockery if needs be as that was down before we moved in except for the stone was wispy grass/mud.
     
  2. sodthisforfun

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    With the drones, it's illegal to use them within 50 feet of people, property and cars. So looking at your garden, I'd say they were breaking the law by flying it there. It may be worth having a word with them. Am not sure about the camera, as interestingly there are laws about CCTV and filming neighbours. Right to privacy in your own home and all that.

    https://www.ft.com/content/d940ac46-0c9a-11e6-b41f-0beb7e589515

    As for screening, I think as far as I know any fencing/brick has to be around 6ft but I do not think there is a limit to bushes and trees. Can just be asked to trim due to lack of light in neighbour's garden. You could use fast growing bamboo, but that has to be contained at the roots otherwise it spreads. Trees would be good, although not sure how that would work with your shed, so perhaps consider some box hedges. Box hedges grow about 8" a year once established and can look rather smart. Sparrows like them too!

    Thick trees such as conifers/leylandii would help with the noise and they are fairly fast growing, some as much as 3-5ft a year once established. They do have their downsides too though and you'll have to keep them trimmed.

    Best of luck, noisy neighbours can get really tiresome.
     
  3. Pink Elephant

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    To be honest i don't really want to get in to the legality argument. I'm aware that it's likely illegal but i doubt this chap cares much for that. I don't know whether you can go ahead and do this without getting clearance first but since everything in this day and age seems to need clearance they extended their extension with a tall summer house which you can see from the photo which came fairly close to their end of garden as it was. Then they put in the pool with the platform against the fence that i mentioned. If all that's ok then fair enough but i'd be surprised.
    And with that said, i'd rather not go round there and say look we have an issue with your drone and your kids leaning over the wall to our garden shouting at top voice to the kids at the front. It's confrontational which neither of us want. I'd rather just put in something that'd screen them. Like i say, i highly doubt that any word with them would result in anything stopping.

    My concern regards trees is when it comes to house insurance. At the moment we can answer no to that question but should we plant trees we'd have to answer that there are trees within x-distance which would put our premium up.
    If trees would be best then fine but if not then we'd go for a bush/hedge.

    I heard about bamboo needing a reinforced base or something. Someone i work with said black bamboo i think he called it, would be good? My mother has conifers but she has 2 which grew ridiculously tall. I've never measured it but i'd say well in excess of 10 metres. I want to screen them, i don't want a stairway to the sky :)


    In what way would the shed be a concern i'm wondering? Ideally we'd want a 13ft-x-10ft shed across the rear wall but realistically we're a way off that. I would, cost aside, want a block built shed but that's going to be 10+ years down the line. A timber shed would be much less in cost but still a good number of years away. With other more important things that crop up over time we may never actually get round to it so it may just stay as it is.
     
  4. scbk

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    You have my sympathy, a row of leyland cypress would be the answer
     
  5. sodthisforfun

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    If you don't want to try and have a friendly word with your neighbour about the drone then that's up to you.

    Bamboo, good stuff but yes, that's why I said the roots need to be contained.
    Normal trees and your shed being so close means the trees will have to be maintained so the branches don't damage the shed as they grow. Possibly the roots too.
    Conifers do grow quick, which is what I thought you were after. I did also say they have to be trimmed so you don't indeed have a stairway to the sky.

    Whatever you choose, good luck.
     
    Last edited: 9 Aug 2018
  6. big-all

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    as an aside a raised platform should be less than 300mm above natural ground level
    so iff they have a diving board/raised area /raised platform 300mm above natural ground level they need planning permission
    now diving board could be open to argument but the idea is to get on with those next door
    so why not have a discussion as to what you would like
     
  7. endecotp

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    Do you think the pool is heated?
    If not, they will not be using it for much longer. When do the school holidays end?
     
  8. Pink Elephant

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    I'm afraid it's not so much not wanting a friendly word but you just know with some people your words may have effect and other people you just know you may as well talk to the wall. I'm aware of the phrase - you never know, but i'm sure we all know someone who fits the bill - if they want to do it they'll do it & it doesn't matter how nice or friendly your word is.

    I was looking at new sheds last night but they seem to be about 1.9-2.0 mtr in height which i just don't think would be enough height to screen them off properly.

    If going the bamboo route, what should you make your base out of? Is wood ok, if so then how thick? Does it need to be concreted? Do you line it with anything?


    As for the pool questions, it's certainly not a diving board as they walk the length of the wall so it's a platform of sorts. As for the planning permission point - i know what you're saying but surely you must know someone who will do what they want? If they want to build a pool with a platform then they will. If they want to erect a summer house close to the boundary then they will. If they want this or that then they'll do it, regardless of any planning permission law.

    As for heated, yes it's heated that's a cert. Granted it may not be in use more than it is in use but there's still plenty of weeks/months during the middle of the year for it to be enough of a nuisance to warrant us looking in to screening unfortunately.

    Thanks very much for the advice though :)
     
  9. big-all

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    if they need planning permission and dont have it you can then involve the planning department at no real cost to your self which may partly or fully cure the problem dependant off how much off a nusance they think it is
     
  10. sodthisforfun

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