Residents condemn a ‘waste of tax payers’ money’ after green metal fence is put up to prevent stone throwers overlooking the Cove in Ilfracombe

The view of the Ilfracombe harbour fence from the opposite direction. Picture: Graham SchlisskeThe view of the Ilfracombe harbour fence from the opposite direction. Picture: Graham Schlisske

A 'prison camp' fence blocking one of Ilfracombe's finest views has been met with widespread condemnation.

The green metal fence has been placed beside the pathway overlooking the Cove side of the harbour by North Devon Council, which says it is to prevent people throwing stones over the wall.

It also said the original stone wall was very low and could be a health and safety hazard.

Ilfracombe residents have taken to Facebook to slam the fence, branding it 'ridiculous', 'like a prison camp', a 'monstrosity' and a 'waste of tax payers' money'.

Town councillor Bert Gear said one of the reasons people came to Ilfracombe was the views.

He said: "What a shame NDC has decided to erect this unsightly fence blocking one of Ilfracombe's finest views. Surely they could have come up with a better idea than this?

"NDC must have realised people have been throwing stones off this walkway for hundreds of years, they should have incorporated something into the building when it was built, not waited till now to do something about it.

"All they have done is put out a challenge for the 'stone throwers' to get one over the top! I understand from one of the fisherman that already this has happened, so the fence is not achieving anything.

"This fence is unsightly and will look terrible once it gets covered with vegetation.

"I will be bringing it up with my fellow councillors at next meeting of the council to get NDC to get this fence removed."

Ian Meadlarkin, Harbour Board chairman said they appreciated the fence was not an ideal solution but a small minority was posing a risk to others and the fence would help safeguard people and property on the Cove.

He added: "There is also a wider issue of public safety as the wall is very low; on several occasions young children have been observed actually standing on the wall, which is clearly hazardous.

"We have had several health and safety discussions with Devon County Council about the wall, but have been advised that as it is an historical wall it doesn't need to meet current height regulations. We therefore feel the fence is an essential safety measure in the circumstances."