AIBU trying to improve my house!?

(37 Posts)
Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 07:08:51

I've posted in property about planning permission issue before but it's taken a different turn.

We need more space in our house to accommodate growing family. Put in a planning application with specialist company that do loft conversions and we are now going through the process.

In a nutshell we want to do what next door neighbour has already done.

We live in a detached property so no impact on neighbours or party wall agreements. All building work will be within our own boundary and not up against the fence or anything like that.

Went round to all neighbours to explain situation before application went in so it didn't come as a surprise.

Anyway said neighbour (one who has already done the same thing!) has reacted very badly and has mounted a campaign against us. Basically going round bullying others to put in complaints. People on our road are happy and haven't complained, they have been supportive. It's the ones in adjacent roads they have got to write complaints. Also Parish Council has jumped on to their side without talking to us at all.

What has annoyed me is they have been going round calling our plan all lies and whipping up anger when actually we are doing exactly what two houses in close proximity have already done!!

I'm expecting in the autumn and this is really is stressful. Feel's like a very personal attack. We have tried to be nice neighbours but won't be bullied. It's sad that it's gone sour.

Said neighbour was a bit funny from the start and does have a reputation for stirring up trouble according to others so I probably shouldn't be surprised but it's the hypocrisy that I'm finding hard to deal with.

Has anyone experienced this and got any advice?

PuraVida Sat 30-Apr-16 07:12:44

If your proposal is in accordance with planning legislation there is diddly squat your irate neighbour can do to stop it

ProjectGainsborough Sat 30-Apr-16 07:13:40

I've not done this, so no practical advice, but just wanted to offer my sympathy. We have very similar neighbours who did something like this, not to me, but to a friend living behind our houses. Try not to take it personally - some people are just bloody weird.

Can you speak to the parish council to put your side across? And surely if there's a precedent for this kind of work on your street that should go in your favour.

lasttimeround Sat 30-Apr-16 07:15:50

It's a process - you need to see it play out. There will be opportunities to put your case across for consideration. I'm not sure it is hypocrisy if you are trying to recruit your neighbours to your view on proposed building works and they are uncomfortable saying they disagree.

SugarPlumTree Sat 30-Apr-16 07:16:42

I feel for you, it sounds very stressful. I' pretty cross at the moment as a house 100 metres away has objected to our extension plans on the grounds she can see our house and if it is extended she'll be able to see more house.

What does your architect say about it all?

Janecc Sat 30-Apr-16 07:17:39

If the neighbour has done the same thing, they will have set a precedent and I don't see how your application can be denied. Can I ask, why do you need planning permission to convert a loft? Usually this can be done under permitted development - unless larger than 40 cubic meters.

lasttimeround Sat 30-Apr-16 07:17:49

As for irate neighbour - just ignore

Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 07:19:02

Thanks for your views. Its helping to vent. As far as the all neighbours are concerned we've not said anything negative, we've bitten our tongues and just ranted within our family so it's good to get it out on here as well!!

PC have already submitted their objection so no chance of getting them to change their minds.

Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 07:26:05

last our lovely neighbours have disagreed on minor points so we've taken steps to address their concerns and they are happy. The difficult neighbours just don't want us to do anything and have said so! You are right about ignoring though.

We need to get planning permission for a couple of add ons (don't want to go into details in case I out myself). But worse case scenario we could scale back and go within permitted development.

It's the level of anger that I found astounding and stressful. sad

ProjectGainsborough Sat 30-Apr-16 07:49:10

It sounds like you've handled it beautifully. Just put it into the 'people are weird' bucket and try to ignore them.

MattDillonsPants Sat 30-Apr-16 07:53:48

Is the property in a protected heritage area? Or is your property a period one OP?

Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 07:58:36

Thanks all. flowers

What are our chances if parish council object? Has anyone got planning permission through with neighbour objections and PC objections?

Our house is not in conservation area so PC comments are incorrect. Plus they have made another claim which is also incorrect according to our architect. All comments seem to be based on emotions and feelings rather than actual fact. One claimed building work would impact on her health even though she lives over 100m away from us in a different Street!

Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 07:59:55

No listed status on our property at all. It's a 50's bungalow.

SugarPlumTree Sat 30-Apr-16 08:05:52

I've seen planning approve some round here that the parish council objected to . Been reading about it all recently and they have a certain criteria to take into account, so the one 100 metres from you won't hold any weight as that's nothing to do with any material facts and my neighbour 100 metres away doesn't have a right to a view.

You've done everything right and the sad fact is some people are just difficult. We're trying to look at the objection as a source of entertainment as it's quite funny showing people where the house is and seeing their reaction which without fail has been quite comical. Hope it goes well for you flowers

Spudlet Sat 30-Apr-16 08:13:38

Remember people can only object on planning grounds - so that would be things like you suddenly overlooking them, the amount of light another house gets being reduced, traffic being affected etc. 'I don't like the sound of it' is not a valid objection.

www.richmond.gov.uk/what_is_a_valid_objection_to_a_planning_application

blankmind Sat 30-Apr-16 08:17:11

Planning Committees are used to going through objections and sorting out which ones may be valid on planning regulations and laws and which are basically 'I don't like it' which they can throw out or ignore. Are all objections and comments visible online? That may make some people think twice when they realise how public an objection is. and how stupid they look by objecting on such spurious grounds
People with nothing going on in their lives can spend the time to make mischief for others, just ignore them, the planners are very used to this sort of thing.

Has anyone yet involved their County Councillor? If not, nab him/her and see if s/he can put a word in for you, showing her/him the similarities of your application with the one your neighbour has already had approved and completed.

Go through the PC comments and challenge the ones that are wrong, give the document to your CC with a copy for the planners.

Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 08:25:24

Thanks sugar. To me it feels like pack mentality to bully us rather than based on real facts.

Another irony is that all those that have complained have done building work recently!!

Our lovely neighbours have said that it's like a form of bullying and they've done it before to others. We've just smiled and said nothing when people have made these comments as we don't want to get into conflict or make things worse.

My DH is so determined to build now though he doesn't care what it is!!

skankingpiglet Sat 30-Apr-16 08:28:09

The planning department will be very used to neighbours with a NIMBY attitude, and will look at your plans on their own merit as well as looking at complaints to see if they're valid. As others have said, the fact your neighbour already has similar will help your case. Easier said than done but try not to worry, although it's tough with an impending immovable deadline (I'm in the same boat, 31wks pg and extension has just begun. I'm beginning to panic).

Are you sure about not needing any kind of party wall? Just being detached doesn't mean you don't need one, it depends how far away from you they are. Our extension is away from the boundary but we still needed one. If you do need it you may find that part a bit drawn out as it doesn't sound like your neighbours would happily sign it so would have to go the long route to obtain one.

Poppledopple Sat 30-Apr-16 08:35:11

We have been through this. All neighbours spoke with us when we approached re plans. One refused to - then whipped up all the other neighbours and they got together and paid for an extensive and expensive planning report - where they took loads of photos of my garden thru our hedge. Got really personal - asking why we needed 6 bedrooms (we have 4 teens and elderly parent to accommodate) - asked from the family with 5 beds and 1 child. But it is the planners who hold the power - so you need to work within their rules and try to ignore the nonsense. Just push thru and focus and reapply if needed. BUT it does hurt and irrevocably damages neighbourhood harmony. Shows people in their true light. Same neighbour then demanded we cut down our high hedge - until I pointed out to the planners that dhe couldnt see our hedge as her intervening trees were higher -- guess what she did then - cut down her own trees!!! But 3 years later she puts in to extend her 5 bed 3 storey house by 50% with an indoor pool - I had great pleasure resreaching and the objecting to that in planning terms not personal. Good luck.

Divathecat Sat 30-Apr-16 09:16:23

I would probably send everyone a cheery letter, copy of plans. Say that you love what they have done to their homes so much that you are doing the same, will keep disruption to the minimum and walk around looking happy, smile and greet neighbours evens the misery twats!

Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 09:20:47

All the objections are online and they are the talk of the neighbourhood, with some people quoting them to my husband in a jokey rolling eyes tone. I've told him don't respond don't comment. I always go by the adage 'if they do it with you they'll do it to you' so don't get dragged in to being catty as it can get taken out of context and twisted to stir things up.

Planning officer did say something about sifting out sour grapes but architect was talking about a lot of things so didn't really pin that down. I'm hoping as you say he spots this NIMBYism a mile away and just focuses on any real issues.

We are going in with the attitude that we will compromise with the planners if they ask us to so we are reasonable. But we need to wait until they have a chance to sift through everything and make their comments.

Snoringlittlemonkey Sat 30-Apr-16 09:23:01

Diva I said to troublesome neighbour when I first spoke to them that we were really impressed with what they had done and were looking to do the same (not exactly the same but along similar lines). Irony seems to have been lost on them hmm

Bobbycatz Sat 30-Apr-16 09:28:20

I have lots of experience with planners, they are used to dealing with objections/neighbours etc, try not to worry about it. Planners know how to identify genuine objections from the ones which just don't like development. I would just stay quite and try to rise above it all. With regard to the PC remember again they are not planners and are elected officials so have a different agenda. Good luck, you can always call your planning officer and ask for an update.

BeckyMcDonald Sat 30-Apr-16 09:32:38

Our extension got planning despite objections from the town council and neighbours. They were legitimate objections, albeit very minor, but the planning officers (it was a delegated decision) gave us permission anyway.

I wouldn't worry too much. Once the process is over it will seem like a distant memory and we get on fine with the objectors now. One of them is even doing our brickwork for us.

skankingpiglet Sat 30-Apr-16 09:34:17

Ah yes Snoring, but if your house is the same (with the work being newer and 'shinier') then their house wouldn't be better than yours... Maybe there is a bit of that at play? Some neighbours are very competitive. Our attached neighbours are lovely but they are always copying us if we make an improvement (we smile to ourselves and count it as a compliment though rather than get arsey about it with other villagers). Most recently they've also replaced their car they didn't realise ours was replaced as DH wrote the previous one off, rather than wanting something newer/better, and done some very similar improvements to their garden.

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