Petition set up in defence of a fence

A Kelvedon couple have set up a petition to stop a housing association removing a waist-high wooden fence around their front garden, which they say is the only thing keeping their little girl safe from a busy road.

Danielle Saward, 25, and husband Joe Chesney, 30, set up the petition three weeks ago and it has so far gained almost 300 signatures.

Housing association Greenfields, which owns the property, insists the fence must go but has offered to install metal railings in its place.

Danielle said: “We have seen the railings they’re talking about and one of our concerns is that children may lean through the railings and we’ve heard a lot of other people say they’ve had problems with those in the past. They have sharp edges.

“A lot of people who live up and down this road can understand that people are speeding and also they don’t like the look of the metal railings.

“Kelvedon’s a nice village and the fence fits. The village has definitely come together to support us and they say it’s nice to have a young couple who are looking out for their young child’s safety.”

She added the proposed railings would only separate the garden from the pavement and would not be enclosed at the sides, meaning their daughter Lyra and other children could still walk around them into danger.

“We want all the children in the area to be enclosed and not be hit by a car,” Danielle said.

“In the summer I want to be able to open the door and not be worried the she would run out into the road. It’s not about shutting neighbours out.”

Danielle, Joe and new-born Lyra moved into their newbuild house in Moores Lane 18 months ago.

In May this year, Joe, who is a groundworker by trade, built the fence around the front garden to keep Lyra off the road as she started toddling.

But Danielle says it was only three days before Greenfields told them to take it down.

In May, a Greenfields spokesman said: “We have asked the family to remove the fence because it has been placed on communal land, not a private garden. Residents can use a separate communal garden at the back of the property.

“However, we appreciate their safety concerns and have agreed the current fencing can remain until the metal railing is fitted.

“This has been chosen to be in keeping with the railing at the front of the property.”

Danielle said she hoped Greenfields took the petition on board but was unsure whether the association would persist with asking them to remove the fence and added the couple were considering moving house if they could not be sure of their daughter’s safety.

Greenfields said: “We fully appreciate the safety concerns that have led residents to place a fence around this communal area. As a result, we are consulting with neighbours to see if they would support the transfer of ownership of that communal land.”