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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Cumbria council threatens to remove 'illegal' metal fence from Talkin Tarn

Council contractors are ready to take down an “illegal” fence at Talkin Tarn – if the owner doesn’t remove it by next Friday.

Talkin Tarn fence
Pamela and Christopher Cummins walk through the barrier

Related: County council takes legal action over Talkin Tarn fence

Cumbria County Council issued a legal notice to the owner of Tarn End House Hotel, giving him 28 days to pull down or move a fence which they say is encroaching on a public right of way.

If he fails to take it down by February 26, workmen will step in.

But Dean Montgomery, of Citadel Estates which owns the former landmark hotel overlooking the tarn, said he would not move his fence because he believed it was not encroaching on the path.

The once-booming Tarn End Hotel has been labelled an eyesore after it was boarded up, fenced off, and part of the roof removed. A metal fence around the perimeter forces people to walk in between two sections, which Carlisle City Council say is not wide enough and spoils enjoyment of the beauty spot.

The city council is working alongside the county council, which is responsible for enforcing rights of way, in a bid to get the fence removed.

Ray Bloxham, city councillor for the environment, said: “Mr Montgomery is saying he is not going to take the fence down. I say it will be taken down – and we will take it down for him.

“In all the time that the hotel has been there, there has never been a fence like this. There is no need for it.”

Mr Bloxham added that he visited the footpath this week and saw two walkers, each with babies in pushchairs unable to pass each other.

But Mr Montgomery has told The Cumberland News that he believes there is no legitimate issue with the fence, and says he has been informed the walkway is wide enough.

He said: “This dispute is about the width of the footpath, not the removal of the fence. I am advised that the width is sufficient, but the county contest it is not.”

Mr Montgomery added: “Either way the temporary fencing stays until it is replaced by a more permanent hoarding later this year.”

Mr Montgomery bought Tarn End House for £450,000 from Cumbria County Council in April 2009.

His company, Citadel Estates, applied for planning permission to convert it into 15 private homes. But the proposal attracted 150 objections and was turned down by city councillors last October.

He put the hotel up for sale in December after receiving a number of enquiries about the property.

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