Lindsay Madsen has to build a new road to his property.
Lindsay Madsen has to build a new road to his property.

Council confirms fence is legal

COUNCIL has confirmed a new fence between two properties, which cuts off a road and denies access to at least two landholders’ properties, is legal.

The Daily News reported in July on an un-neighbourly dispute that broke out at Elbow Valley in July after landowner Lindsay Madsen alleged his neighbour poisoned native trees and interfered with Wood’s Road.

The argument reached boiling point last week when Mr Madsen came home to discover a fence had been erected and a road he constructed to his home was cut off by the fence.

Council engineers had visited the site to establish if the new fence was in the correct position and concluded it was.

A spokeswoman said council had investigated the situation.

“In two locations, the existing roadway is contained within the neighbouring property, not the road reserve,” the spokeswoman said.

“The neighbour has erected a fence legally along their property alignment in our view.

“This has had the consequence of cutting off the roadway which gives access to Mr Madsen.”

With the road out of action, Mr Madsen has been frantically trying to create a new route so he isn’t completely housebound and council staff have been sent along to help.

“Council staff have assisted with a loader, providing temporary access within the road reserve and will follow up with more permanent work once a plant can be made available,” the spokeswoman added.

Despite this, Mr Madsen is still seething at the situation and said the action was just not “neighbourly”.

“In the country, you need each other a lot more than if you were in the city,” Mr Madsen said. “You’re supposed to work together.”

Mr Madsen said his surveyor said the road was in the right place and has criticised council for not communicating their findings to him.

“If it was the case they decided the neighbour’s survey was right they should have let me know, so I could have moved the road before it was cut,” he said.

With no reliable road at this time, Mr Madsen said he feared mostly for his health as he has a heart condition and an ambulance would not be able to reach him.

At this week’s Engineering Services committee meeting Cr Ross Bartley expressed his concern over regulations on unformed roads.

He said too often council became the meat in the sandwich when dealing with how people treated unconstructed road reserves.

Director of Engineering Peter See agreed with Cr Bartley that an information leaflet should be produced.

The Daily News was unable to contact Mr Madsen’s neighbour for comment and is waiting to confirm with DERM the result of their investigation into the alleged poisoned trees.

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