PIERS FULLER / STUFF
Cathy Soper, who lives on Algies Road, was surprised that the fence used to graze cattle along the roadside had been removed without telling them.
A roadside fence used by a couple from Featherston to graze cattle was torn down without notice.
Marc Soper of Algies Road came home Monday and found a fence near his border that had disappeared without warning. Its holdings may have been subject to theft or escape.
Over a year ago, the council discussed whether the fence that was on the council’s land next to the road could be preserved. But Sopers said he was never told the council would remove it.
Soper said it made stocks vulnerable to exit or theft and they should have been informed so they could make their property safer.
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The roadside fence was in place when they bought the property in June 2018 and the previous owner had told them they would need a council “notice of intervention” in order to get permission to keep it.
A spokeswoman for South Wairarapa district council said the sopers had been told they needed permission and if they weren’t given the fence would be removed by the district’s contractors.
Cathy Soper said she emailed the council twice after buying the property to get approval but heard nothing about it.
About a year ago they were told the fence would have to go because a section near the corner on Underhill Rd posed a hazard to traffic pulling off the road.
Soper pulled back the fence on Underhill Road and has not heard from the Council since.
He said a council official told him Monday that there had been recent complaints from neighbors about their roadside fence.
The council spokeswoman said she had received three complaints: two about road safety, including a driver unable to leave to avoid an oncoming vehicle and one about a water meter in the electrified fence.
The property had a border fence, but a small unsecured gate with a gap underneath and a stream meant that young animals they raised could potentially escape into the street.
PIERS FULLER / STUFF / Stuff
The Sopers feared that small animals could escape the current border fence and small gate and get onto the street.
“If the animals got out and went out on the street and caused an accident, it would be us who’d be stuck.”
The contractor who demolished the fence subsequently returned and erected a small Warratah electric fence to prevent inventory losses due to Sopers concerns.
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