After a neighbor built an 8ft fence around their house, family members are “plunged into darkness” and are unable to open their windows.

  • Rob Shepherd, 38, says his wife Sarah, that their bungalow is in darkness.
  • Neighbor Michael Fitzsimons constructed an 8ft fence within inches of their Portslade, East Sussex home.
  • The couple’s son is autistic and Mrs Shepherd has seasonal depression
  • After several rows about noise with complaints from both parties, it was finally agreed to. 

A family claims they are in complete darkness after a builder built an 8ft fence only feet from their front door.

Rob Shepherd, 38, and Sarah Shepherd, his wife, have lived in the bungalow for over 20 years without any problems. 

According to The Sun’s report, Mr Shepherd, from Portslade in East Sussex, said that Michael Fitzsimons put up the fence after a row. 

Rob Shepherd at his Portslade rented bungalow which now is surrounded by fences that his neighbour has erected

Rob Shepherd at his Portslade rented villa, which is now surrounded with fences that his neighbor has erected

Mr Shephers can only open three windows by just one foot before slamming into the 8ft wooden fence

Mr Shephers can only open 3 windows by one foot before smashing into the 8ft wooden fencing

The adjoining properties used to be part of a GPs surgery but have since been split into two

The adjacent properties were once part of a GPs practice, but have since been divided into two.

Both properties were once part a GP’s surgery before being seperated.  

38-year-old Mr Shepherd is an architect’s technie and has three children with his wife, Reece (20), who is currently at university, Robbie (17, who has been diagnosed autistic), and Betsy (5).

He stated that everything was perfect until Michael moved in three years ago. He is a builder, and he began doing all kinds to the house with planning consent. He also added a porch and an extension.

“Then, suddenly, a little more than a week ago, he began erecting fences. We were in our front room when suddenly the light went out. We thought it was a raincloud.

“Then, when we opened the windows, there was this huge 8ft fence directly next to it.

‘It is causing such stress for me and my family, I don’t know if it can continue to be here. We haven’t been sleeping and I’ve got bags under our eyes from all the worry.

“It is also affecting my children’s health. It is causing my 17-year old daughter distress and my daughter extreme upset.

“We have lived in this house for over 20 years, and it is our home. We love it and don’t want to leave.

Mrs Shepherd, who suffers with Seasonal Affected disorder, said that the stress has made everyone sick. It’s horrible. My son is autistic, and he was running wild when he heard the drill outside his bedroom.

“My five year old daughter was just as shocked as I was. She was very, very distressed by all of it.

“When we’re sitting down in the frontroom now it feels like nighttime, because it’s so dark.”

Mr Shepherd wrote to his landlord and instructed a solicitor to send a note to Michael Fitzsimons.

The fence does NOT require planning permission. The council refused to intervene, claiming that Mr Fitzsimons doesn’t need planning permission.

The fence completely blocks the view from this window and the family complains that their living room and two bedrooms are submerged in darkness

The fence blocks the view from the window completely and the family complains about the darkness in their living room and bedrooms.

The fence did not require planning permission but Mr Shepherd is now pursuing legal action to get it taken down

Although the fence did not require planning permission, Mr Shepherd is pursuing legal action in order to have it removed

But Mr Shepherd believes that his home has the ‘right of light’. This means that Mr Fitzsimons may have to remove the fence.

The couple appeal to the city’s planners as well as local councillors to take action.

Mr Shepherd said that the landlord is angry because if we move out, it will be very difficult for us to rent out the property because there is not enough natural light.

“We have told police that we are willing to enter into mediation with our neighbours about this but they have categorically rejected it.”

Mr Shepherd stated, “It’s absurd when things get so bad – all that we want to do is live our lives.”