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Neighbours application approved with a window overlooking our property

(56 Posts)
martynka85 Tue 23-Jan-18 14:48:23

Hi I hope anyone would be able to help or at least give a bit of advice please.
Long story short...we live on a corner plot, our neighbour who’s house is at the bottom of our garden applied for a first floor extension. We were originally notified by the council but as there were applying for one obscured window to the side we didn’t raise any concerns. Fast forward a few months, the built has started and much to our surprise another window appeared on the side of the extension. We checked the plans online and apparently they have been resubmitted including the extra window which is going to be clear! Not only we didn’t know anything about it as we haven’t been informed about change in plans, but also apparently you can’t have a clear window if the property is 22 meters or less away from a neighbouring one. We are 21 meters away from them. The problem is that the plans have been approved by some rooky contractor who no longer works for the council. Planning department is washing their hands from it and if I have to speak to yet another person in that department I think I will go crazy! I don’t want to be unreasonable and they can keep their extra window in but I would like it to be obscured as the whole garden and back of the property including my daughters room is overlooked! What chance do I have for them to put extra conditions in the original agreement, what is the best way to go about it?

Eliza9917 Tue 23-Jan-18 15:01:11

You need to provide a diagram.

Eliza9917 Tue 23-Jan-18 15:02:39

Also, while contesting it, or in the event of that failing, erect something unsightly at the bottom of your garden or extend your fence upwards with something awful. Basically, make them sorry every time they look out of that window.

allthgoodusernamesaretaken Tue 23-Jan-18 15:06:07

check your household insurance policy to see if you have legal expenses insurance. If you do, it would probably cover the cost of getting a solicitor to look at this for you

MyToeHurtsBetty Tue 23-Jan-18 15:18:50

Childish but...

Booboobooboo84 Tue 23-Jan-18 15:21:50

Have you spoken to them directly about the window?

theymademejoin Tue 23-Jan-18 15:27:26

We had a similar issue. We got nowhere. Windows are looking straight in our windows.

averylongtimeago Tue 23-Jan-18 15:31:14

I recommend a couple if these
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.fast-growing-trees.com/blog/privacy-trees-these-4-grow-the-fastest/amp/

Strategically placed at the end of your garden. Keep them trimmed so they don't get too high, but they will do the job.

Realistically there's not much you can do about it now the planning has actually gone through.

saladdays66 Tue 23-Jan-18 15:34:33

Surely the planning dept have to go back and look at it if it contravenes their own terms??? Can you speak to your neighbours about it?

Hang a big sheet out of your window with a huge 'FUCK OFF' on it, facing their new window?

Failing that, plant some leylandii.

LIZS Tue 23-Jan-18 15:37:34

You need to speak to building control. They are unlikely to pass a clear window if it overlooks.

extinctspecies Tue 23-Jan-18 15:51:48

If the application has been approved (which it sounds as if it has) then the only recourse open to you would be to ask for a Judicial Review on the grounds the correct process wasn't followed - i.e. you should have been re-consulted when the revised plans were submitted.

However there is normally a time limit for bringing a JR of 3 months; although in exceptional circumstances this can be extended.

Bellamuerte Tue 23-Jan-18 15:58:35

Planning and building regs are two independent departments and one has no idea what the other is doing. We were granted planning permission for an extension only to find out later on that it's impossible to build the extension as planned because it won't meet building regs.

Ring the building regs dept, find out who the case officer is and insist they can't sign it off unless the window is obscured. They probably wouldn't anyway but it's best to make sure they know your position.

KateAdiesEarrings Tue 23-Jan-18 16:02:17

Their plans can't have been approved by a rooky contractor. Only the planning office can approve plans. As a PP said, contact building control. Also check to see which local councillors sit on the planning committee, explain to them what has happened and ask them to advocate on your behalf.

mummmy2017 Tue 23-Jan-18 16:03:59

I vote for the trees for now...

londonista Tue 23-Jan-18 16:06:53

Boobooboo what a crazy idea! 😁
Talk to them? You're not suggesting they might be ... reasonable people?

Madness.

RockinHippy Tue 23-Jan-18 16:10:32

We had a similar issue. Research your local councillors & contact the one that seems most efficient & whose background best suits your needs. Mark it urgent. I find twitter a good way to get their attention. Our councillor was a huge help 👍🏻

silvousplaitmerci Tue 23-Jan-18 16:16:24

Can you draw a diagram?

Also 21 metres is a quite a distance.

I'm not saying YABU but it does seem quite far away

Buxtonstill Tue 23-Jan-18 16:18:17

Send them a letter, asking them to reconsider the positioning of the window. If they refuse, plant a fast growing tree for your privacy.

eddielizzard Tue 23-Jan-18 16:18:19

i'd try building control.

we had this with our neighbour across the street and planning couldn't have been less interested. very frustrating.

good luck!

whiskyowl Tue 23-Jan-18 16:33:58

I agree with a PP that good landscaping is your friend here.

21 metres or 22 metres doesn't make that much difference. I have houses much closer than that to me, as I'm sure many posters writing in cities do, and you just get used to other people's windows being there after a bit. If you're really bothered, you have enough space in 20 metres to get in a tree a good distance from the house.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Tue 23-Jan-18 16:34:46

What do you mean, Council are washing their hands of it? They can't just do that. If the original application had no clear window, and that was approved, then they shouldn't have added in a window afterwards. And if it's clear from local planning laws that a window shouldn't be there, then a window bloody well shouldn't be there and the Council planning officers should be able to enforce that!
Call you local Councillor and get them onto it.

waterlily200 Tue 23-Jan-18 16:56:34

If the planning decision has been made no new conditions can be added. I would suggest you get a copy of the decision notice which will set out the conditions they must adhere too. If they do not then the planning department can take action, but only on the co actions attached.

As the decision has been made the planning committee councillors can do nothing about the decision

With regard to building control this is a separate department and has completely different powers. They are checking that the attention conforms with their regulations, therefore if the 22m separation is a planning restriction then they have no power over this.

With regard to a judicial review this will not necessarily (or likely) change the decision just 'tell off' the planning deparment. They would have actually have had to do something wrong and not reconsulting neighbours on such a 'minor' (in planning terms, I understand your concerns) change is not always standard practice. If they state in their customer charter (or similar) that they always reconsult no matter what u may have a chance but it's unlikely. I'm sorry.

I would however but all your concerns in writing as a formal complaint to the head of planning and the building control manager and request a written response addressing your concerns. If for no other reason then you will know you have done everything in your power.

waterlily200 Tue 23-Jan-18 16:58:30

Those comments are based on the second window being included on the approved plans, if the neighbours have just added a window which was not on the approved plans then planning can do something about it. But based on your original post it would appear they have approval for the second window.

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Tue 23-Jan-18 17:02:43

Op there was a recent important planning case which states that if a plan is changes there MUST be re consultation. The permission in question was quashed by the courts. As previous pP said your recourse is JR within 6 weeks though usually. Seek advice

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Tue 23-Jan-18 17:05:26

How did you know about the first application? If your house is close enough for you to be considered an interested party you should have been informed of all applications in order to voice your objections if you had any.

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