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Open cast coalmine soon to be my neighbour!

(16 Posts)
Preferthedogtothekids Tue 06-Nov-12 11:08:45

Hello, I am mostly a lurker and not sure if this question should be in here or property/DIY but I'll ask here first as I know there are some really knowledgable legal bods here.

We moved to our home in 2006 and bought it mainly because it had lovely views over a natural loch from the back of the house. The loch edge is about 750m from the edge of our property. Sadly, despite opposition, consent has been given for the loch to be drained and mined for the next 7-10years before it is reinstated. We are in a small cluster of houses who overlook the loch and we have been told that there is no possibility of compensation, and that our homes will not be damaged by noise and impact of the daily blasting.

It would appear now that the development is being delayed for a while due to a delay elsewhere and I would like to know if there is any legal precedent in claiming compensation due to the fact that our houses will be very difficult to sell with this hanging over us? I know house prices have fallen, but we could barely sell this for the amount of our mortgage now so I feel we are completely trapped into living next door to a open-cast mine for the foreseeable future and I would love to move if we had enough of a deposit to be able to do so.

Preferthedogtothekids Tue 06-Nov-12 11:17:18

This is a photo of the view I'll be losing :-(

Collaborate Tue 06-Nov-12 11:40:07

You're in Scotland?

In E&W there is no right to a view, but there is a law of nuisance whereby if someone uses their land in a way that causes you a nuisance you have a right of action against them.

See if your household insurance will cover you seeing a solicitor over this.

RedHelenB Tue 06-Nov-12 18:18:21

A view isn't part of the house you buy though. After the mining are they going to fill it back in?

Preferthedogtothekids Wed 07-Nov-12 00:19:23

Thank you for your comments. Yes, we are in Scotland Collaborate, and I'll look into the nuisance aspect, but I think that was all covered in the planning application in that they won't be blasting before 7am or after 9pm.

RedHelenB, I know we are not entitled in law to a view and they are planning to fill it in afterwards, but that is probably 10 years after they begin and they haven't started yet so this is a problem for a very long time to come. My real gripe is that my home is much less desirable to buyers than it was before the plans were made, in fact I'm sure very few people would consider living here now. Do we really not deserve some compensation for such a huge reduction in our quality of life? I would like to move :-(

Collaborate Wed 07-Nov-12 01:19:21

I stress this is in E&W, and Scotland might be different, but just because someone gets planning permission doesn't mean to say that you can't get an injunction (or damages) because the way in which they use their land causes a nuisance to you. You must get some proper legal advice. It would be mad not to. Your house will be one of your most valuable assets.

CaroleService Mon 12-Nov-12 12:58:37

Club together to get some advice.

Daisybell1 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:09:32

This is England so you'd have to check the position in Scotland but you may be able to claim under the compulsory purchase rules.

If you can persuade the local council to act as an acquiring authority then they may be able to help either with blight (which is specifically designed to deal with planned works which take a long time to start), or with accommodation works to noise-proof your property.

Check out this link

Even if you can't get anything under the compulsory purchase rules, I would use this as a starting point for negotiations with the company.

I would also tell your insurers, if you haven't already, and see if they'd pay for a full structural survey on your property. If you have any cracks in your walls, I think I'd want those little pins put in so you can see if they're getting worse during the works.

Oh, and definitely club together with your neighbours to get joint advice.

Good luck!

Knowsabitabouteducation Tue 20-Nov-12 07:11:28

So, the loch is an artificial one created due to open-cast mining?

Presumably you use electricity that this coal will be used to generate?

If I draw a circle 750m from my house, I see an awful lot of ugliness.

It looks like a case of NIMBY.

Nice to see all those jobs being created.

Preferthedogtothekids Tue 20-Nov-12 23:04:57

No, Knowasbit, it is a natural loch, previously a really good fishing loch that has been let go to waste and unmanaged by the coal board in the last few years. It will actually be the first time a natural loch has been drained to mine coal from. They have promised to reinstate it as a loch when they finish, but that's a long way off. They are also going to have move lots of wildlife including otters (I have seen them in our street).

An a comment on Nimbyism.....we bought a house in a small village in farmlands. We take the inconvenience of being cut off in the winter, having no shops and very few amenities just for a little bit of serenity. I've lived in cities and towns, I have no problem with ugliness, but I don't want to live next door to this dust-producing, blasting eyesore for the rest of my children's youth. It would completely ruin a lifestyle choice for us, and many others in the village, but mainly us and there are very few homes who overlook it so closely.

Anyway the good news is that there appears to be something going with the Environmental Protection Agency and an appeal is being made to the European Commission, maybe there is hope!

Thank you for your ideas, I will be getting in touch with our insurers when it becomes necessary and I'm very grateful for the links :-)

Preferthedogtothekids Tue 20-Nov-12 23:09:07

Actually Daisybell, I thank you hugely, this is just what I was looking for and I found it in your link!


80. You may be entitled to compensation if the market value of your interest in the property that you are left with has been reduced. You may also be entitled to compensation if the use of the public work that was the reason for the compulsory purchase has a negative effect on the property you are left with.

FannyFifer Tue 20-Nov-12 23:18:22

I see you are in Fife, I have no idea what to advise but a town near me (Leslie) has an opencast and people's houses are being damaged.
Get onto councillors, MSP's, everyone you can think of.

Preferthedogtothekids Tue 20-Nov-12 23:43:01

Thanks Fanny, I hadn't seen that news report. We have been assured that all the noise and vibrations will be within legal limits too. I fear I will be living like the folk in Leslie in a couple of years sad I just want to be able to afford to move.

FannyFifer Tue 20-Nov-12 23:52:08

Good luck to you, what has happened in Leslie is a feckin disgrace, it is literally at the bottom of people's gardens.

Get your neighbours involved, newspapers, everything to stop it.

Preferthedogtothekids Tue 20-Nov-12 23:55:04

There has been a lot done by the village council, there have been meetings, demonstrations, petitions and many appeals to the council, but apparently the Scottish Government wants the coal out of the ground and it's pushing ahead with the plans.

Let's just hope that SEPA can help.

Daisybell1 Wed 21-Nov-12 12:12:05

I'm glad the link worked. In order to get compensation, I think you may need to establish that these are public works. Have you spoken to the local authority.

But if it's going to take a while then you may have a claim for blight and accommodation works at the very least.

Good luck with Europe!

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