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Neighbours extension

(49 Posts)
Extensionwoes Sun 05-Nov-17 22:54:12

I'm wondering what to do.

My neighbours live on higher land than us and their house is set forward. They wanted to build a two storey extension but I suggested single storey would be more reasonable as it would be less dominant. Two storeys would look like three storeys whereas one storey will still be above us but better.

Anyway I didn't object to the single storey extension and they got planning permission with certain conditions which included asking permission if they wanted to do anything on our land.

The building works are going ahead and I'm fine with the extension on the plans. However while I was out they put scaffolding all along the side of our house on our land without asking permission and climbed over a locked gate to do so!

Also the extension has been built higher than the planning permission (3.3 metres instead of 2.7 metres which makes a lot of difference on higher land)

AIBU to be upset? If so what should I do?

Tippz Sun 05-Nov-17 22:57:14

You know the answer.

Ring the council tomorrow, and complain.

Fuck them and their feelings. They don't give a shit about you.

Not being funny, but from what you say, the whole thing sounds horrific. A three storey house next to you, that is set on higher ground. Sounds very oppressive.

WishingOnABar Sun 05-Nov-17 22:59:12

Also insist that their unauthorised scaffolding is removed from your property immediately. How presumptuous of them!

Tapandgo Sun 05-Nov-17 23:01:42

Tell them to remove scaffolding immediately as it's on private property. Call the council before things go any further.

Extensionwoes Sun 05-Nov-17 23:02:23

I think I have been too nice. Even the builders said that they understood why I was upset and the neighbours had told them I had given permission for the scaffolding. When the neighbour came round she said that the builders had done it behind their back! Who knows which story is correct.

The land slopes upwards so a lot depends on where the height measurement is taken from. Is it from the ground level or the new extension floor level? Both give a height measurement greater than the permission but one is a massive difference and the other less (while still significantly different to the plan).

Extensionwoes Sun 05-Nov-17 23:04:05

They have even blocked access to my storage with the scaffolding. I've told them to remove it by Wednesday. Is that too nice again?

I hate arguing with neighbours.

SonicBoomBoom Sun 05-Nov-17 23:06:23

Call the council first thing tomorrow.

Extensionwoes Sun 05-Nov-17 23:08:29

Yes - will do. There is an online form which I'm going to fill out tonight to report all complaints, details and measurements. I'll follow up with a phone call.

I'll update tomorrow but I have a nasty feeling about all of this.

FlouncyDoves Sun 05-Nov-17 23:09:47

Report it. Also look up the planning details on line - that might tell you where the measurement should be taken from. I’d also insist the scaffolding is removed tomorrow, why give them three days?

WishingOnABar Sun 05-Nov-17 23:12:16

Surely if they are back ‘onsite’ tomorrow they can get the scaffolding down then? Three days gives them permission to continue work using the unauthorised scaffolding for two days otherwise.

BriechonCheese Sun 05-Nov-17 23:14:17

I wonder if the scaffolding on your property will cause you insurance issues?

Extensionwoes Sun 05-Nov-17 23:15:20

I'll speak to the builders tomorrow. I still can't believe they climbed over a locked gate into my back garden with the scaffolding.

The planning permission says....
You must obtain the prior written consent of the owner and occupier of any land upon which it is necessary for you to enter in order to construct, externally finish, decorate or in any other way carry out any works in connection with this development including future repairs/maintenance, or to obtain support from adjoining property. This permission does not authorise you to take such action without first obtaining this consent. Your attention is also drawn to the Access of Neighbouring Land Act 1992 and Party Wall Act 1996.

Extensionwoes Sun 05-Nov-17 23:16:19

The plans show the measurement from ground level too.

BriechonCheese Sun 05-Nov-17 23:23:15

You need to ask for it to come down tomorrow.
I would also contact the council but also your insurance company and ask if there will be any issues if you had scaffolding on your land/attached to your buildings.

NewIdeasToday Mon 06-Nov-17 03:44:49

Why have you given them till Wednesday to remove the scaffolding? Sorry but you’re being too nice and they’ll think they can walk all over you.

I would email them and hand deliver a copy first thing in the morning. Say your have been reflecting on the situation and you want the scaffolding removed that day. Say you’ll be contacting a solicitor given that they are not abiding by the terms of the agreement.

And then do contact a solicitor. Does your home insurance include any legal cover?

mellongoose Mon 06-Nov-17 03:50:39

Talk to your local councillor and/or the planning officer. If they have broken the conditions on their application it needs to be raised immediately.

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 06-Nov-17 04:28:16

Call the planning office. The online form may take some time to filter through. They can then send an officer out to sort out compliance. Perhaps the height is correct. It depends on exactly where ground level is ascertained. Additionally 2.7 meters is very low for an extension. Average ceiling height is 2.4. Even if they built it at 2.1, that leaves very little for the roof and insulation. Are you sure 2.7 is the finished external measurement?

flumpybear Mon 06-Nov-17 07:20:22

Phone first thing, write a letter and photograph it saying they’ve breached the rules, why and tell them to both remove the scaffolding and wait to hear from the council about the height as you’ve put a complaint in and they may need to bring it down

Cheeky bloody neighbours!!

Extensionwoes Mon 06-Nov-17 07:34:23

I agree. I've been far too nice. I'm waiting for the council phone lines to open. The plans clearly show that the builders have measured from the wrong point. What I don't know is whether they will be allowed to get away with it.

I honestly didn't think about liability insurance. shock

The exact dimension of the lean to extension are -

height of side wall - 2735
then roof slopes up to height of 4875

Extensionwoes Mon 06-Nov-17 08:13:54

Just checked house insurance and we are liable should there be an accident.

LakieLady Mon 06-Nov-17 08:25:18

Bloody hell, what is it with scaffolders?

When my neighbour had her extension built, she was told that they would need access to our drive to put up scaffolding. We were happy to give permission for this, it's no biggie.

Then I came home from work to find that the scaffolding was actually on our drive, and took up a third of the width. They'd put it up around one of DP's motorbikes, in such a way that he couldn't move it, because the handlebars were wider than the gap between the uprights! And we couldn't open our side gate.

We insisted that they came back on a Saturday, removed part of it so we could move the motorbikes and put it up again in a different configuration so that we could open the gate and get into our garage. The builders were terribly apologetic, and said they had no idea that that was what the scaffolders intended to do.

When they took it down, they dropped a scaffold board and a big clip through our garage roof. We didn't notice for days, as the garage was covered in clematis. It was only when I went in there for something that I saw the damage. The scaffolders flatly denied it was them, and the builders repaired all the damage.

I'd never let scaffolders near my property again.

Mouikey Mon 06-Nov-17 08:52:04

You need to speak to an enforcement officer in thenplanning department and explain to them what you think has happened (they won’t be interested in the scaffolding as that’s between you and the neighbours).

They will visit at some point and should take measurements. The question will be whether it is considered deminimus (I.e. no point in taking action), needs a new planning application (which may get permission) or whether they will take action (unlikely but they may). If the extra 0.6m makes little difference to your light or being overbearing they are likely to go for a new application, but without knowing the site it’s difficult to say. It will make their life difficult though and cost them money. It won’t be a quick process.

averylongtimeago Mon 06-Nov-17 09:13:42

Is the extension right up to the boundary? What about the foundations- how close are they?
If they are very close / touching then I'm sure they should have gotten legal agreement from you, something to do with the party wall act? Especially as it was mentioned in the planning permission. I would get this checked out as if it is needed, and you don't jab it, it will make things very difficult for both you or your neighbours should either if you decide to sell.

Extensionwoes Mon 06-Nov-17 09:39:41

I thought I would try the polite easy approach first. Just went round to neighbour and pointed out the fact it is too high. The builders are already removing one course of breeze blocks (although the measurements indicate that more is required to come off). Still it is a start.

Also pointed out that our house insurance didn't cover scaffolding and any liability would be ours if there was an accident. I've asked for it to be taken down today.

No it isn't right up to the boundary. It was going to be but I said I would object if they did that so they revised the drawing. That part has been built to specification but it is the height that has been measured wrong.

Extensionwoes Mon 06-Nov-17 10:05:59

Struggling to get through to the Council. I'm just getting recorded music.

I have received an e mail to say my written complaint has been forwarded to the appropriate person in the council.

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