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Part 2 - The Planning Saga - Episode 1

Posted by Calvinmiddle , 05 June 2014 · 994 views

So we decided to look at getting a house built in the back garden, and found a really nice architectural technician who drew the plans for what we wanted which was a for modern rendered and timber clad 3 bed house with mono-pitched and flat roofs.

The lay out would have been:
Existing house – it’s garden – new house – it’s garden

We talked to the neighbours – who lived a pair of Victoria semi-detached houses who were thick as thieves having lived there for years. Their houses extend a good 10 metres from the back of the single storey laundry of our house and about 13m from the back of the main house.

The new house would have been 13m away from the rear of the closest neighbour which I thought was pretty reasonable; especially given the fact the 10m extension he had built before we bought the house has 2 windows overlooking our garden as his ground level is about a 1 meter higher than ours.

I was met with a very frosty response and told it would knock £75k off the value of their houses (which was interesting as an estate agent said we would only lose £25k and we were the ones losing garden!) and that they liked to open aspect of the view from the back of their houses. As I left they told me they would object and there was no way they would allow me to build anything in my back garden.

I figured we should let the planners decide and so got my first introduction to the planning process. The application was called into committee and although the planning officer recommended it for approval I found the neighbours had employed a planning consultant to write their letters of objection and to talk at the meeting for them. I also found that the previous owner had written saying the garden was an important archeologically site as he once dug up a handle of a medieval jug, and the Town Council, who’s offices are the neighbours on the other side, were objecting as well.

We all had our chance to speak, one of the neighbours did a character assassination on me and was allowed to finish before the committee chairman asked me as the final speaker to not let this get personal!! After my turn the committee discussed the application and my ward member (who just happened to be on the Town Council as well) led the charge to get the application dismissed. After decided to dismiss the application the committee took another 15 minutes to decide a reason that the planning department manager thought would be strong enough to be challenged by an appeal.

We found a planning consultant and did appeal, but we lost and felt very dejected, not understanding how something that was recommended for approval by the planning professionals could be rejected by some local neighbours and a committee of people who seemed intent on refusing application in their own wards.

May 2018

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