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Funeral Directors Moving In Next Door

(16 Posts)
Demented Tue 17-Feb-04 22:41:08

I have heard a rumour that the property next door to us which is empty (used to be a Vets and has been empty for about a year) is to be rented by a Funeral Director. I am none too happy about this, I know everyone needs them at some point in their lives but I don't want to live next door to them.

When we bought our house we were told that the Vets surgery was moving and were quite pleased as we imagined the owners may take advantage of the rise in the housing market in the area and either convert the property back to a house or sell to a developer. The property has been empty for a year and we have heard that various people have looked at it, apparently they have had a lot of interest from hairdressers/beauticians etc which I wouldn't have minded at all but I never dreamed that a Funeral Director would move in.

Anyway, long and short of it is I wondered if anyone would have any advice about what to do, is this something I could object to with the Council/Planning, if I did complain would they be interested in our worries about how this will affect our property's value? or Would they be interested in my other worry that my children will be upset or scared when they are old enough to understand what the property next door is all about? There is also a private track at the back where we access our garage and park (can't get car in garage), the property next door uses this also and I have visions of not being able to park at the back for all the herses, no parking at the front and we have recently moved from a house where parking was a major concern and don't want to revisit this problem. Any advice would be welcome.

Demented Tue 17-Feb-04 22:48:06

Just another thought IMO a Funeral Directors next door would be more damaging to property values than a Vets surgery although I may be wrong. Would be interested to hear anyone's thoughts on this also.

Pacific Tue 17-Feb-04 22:55:25

Oh dear. It sounds like something out of a sitcom, but I don't think i would like to be next door to a funeral parlour.

Can you buy the property yourself? I know two families who have done just that and managed to prevent a change of use on adjoining properties.

You are also perfectly entitled to object to a change of use but you usually need a specific objection such as a new building blocking out your light etc.

Sorry...not much help. I suppose you could look on the bright least it will be noisy parties!

lavender1 Tue 17-Feb-04 22:56:00

little experience here, but when was working in Norfolk some years ago, worked in this village where there was a Funeral Directors on the main road, lots of the locals I had dealings with said that it was put up without proper permission, didn't like the man, so it really was a him and the village situation...could you contact Citizen's Advice or speak to your local solicitor? they give free advice sometimes, as it is not always the case that just because he wants to do it he can...Personally I would be livid and would get the ball rolling asap (bit creepy to be living next too)...go for it

Lisa78 Tue 17-Feb-04 22:56:20

Don't have any advice on what you can do but for an opinion - I would love to live next door to a vet, and I would hate to live next door to a funeral director. I think you have a really good case to object to the council or whoever

alibubbles Wed 18-Feb-04 08:42:54

At least you wouldn't have to worry about noisy neighbours!

Sorry about that, couldn't resist it!

You could object that there would be comings and goings at night, (as most FD's offer a 24 hour service.) disturbing your sleep. extra traffic, parking a problem, etc.

twiglett Wed 18-Feb-04 08:50:38

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miranda2 Wed 18-Feb-04 09:06:17

Must say I don't think you'd be very likely to get far with complaining to the council- vet and funeral director are probably teh same 'category of use', as this is just very broad things like food/ offices/ etc, and to be blunt vets and funeral directors both deal in dead bodies so any permissions are likely to be already in place. certianly impact on your property value is irrelevant to the planning process, I'm afraid. The suggestion of buying it yourself (on a buy to let mortgage and then either trying to get a commercial client, or prob better since its been empty for a year, convert to house and then rent or sell) seems a good one if you could possibly manage it. (You'd need a 20% deposit for a buy to let mortgage, could you borrow this from parents etc?).
But I think if the worse happens and they move in, they'll be fine. In my line of business (church) I meet and deal with lots of funeral directors, and they are all really nice and considerate. The funeral parlours are all immaculate when you look behind the scenes, and very strictly regulated. I'd have thought they'd have had to get parking for hearses elsewhere - this might be something you COULD take up with the council though. They are likely to garage them as they need to look pristine all the time, so may well have arranged garaging elsewhere.

fio2 Wed 18-Feb-04 09:50:34

I agree with miranda. I know its not everyone cup of tea to have this sort of establishment but it rarely causes any problems. We used to live opposite a funeral directors and I cant say it ever caused me any disruption. Unless you are the kind of person who is looking out the window all day it is unlikely that you would see coffins etc. My husband worked as a telephone engineer between jobs and had to contract to co-op funeral. He had to fit systems in morgues and I think it was a real eye opener for him. Funny how death doesnt bother him now. And on that morbid note I will shut up now!

Obviously I do understand your reasons for not wanting to be used as this kind of business too

twiglett Wed 18-Feb-04 09:53:28

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kiwisbird Wed 18-Feb-04 10:30:11

I know the the effect a planning application can have on house prices is an invalid argument, you need to prove damage to lifestyle, enjoyment, noise, pollution etc
Ps don't be so sure about hairdressers
we live above one, their phones never stop ringing they are on loud to be heard above hairdryers, as is their gossip and stereo! Late nights 3 x a week and all day saturday!

Demented Wed 18-Feb-04 21:39:04

Thanks for all your thoughts, looks like we may just have to put up with it. The first thing we need to do is find out whether it is definately going ahead and will look into how to complain, if we can complain.

Buying the property is out of the question, at the moment it is only being offered for rent but even if we could negotiate and purchase the property we couldn't afford it (no rich relatives unfortunately ). I am not in so much of a panic about this as I was last night, particularly after reading all your posts, although they still would not be my first choice for next door neighbours. The scenes I had pictured were more those of a sitcom and I can see now that the place will be low key and respectiful.

twiglett, I had a slight snigger at our post as on the other side of the proposed Funeral Directors we have a rather mad neighbour too. In fact DH and I have started to wonder if it would be really below the belt to find out who is planning on renting the building and warning them about her (she is about 85, as strong as an ox and has been know to attack people with garden shears, the Police have a big file on her).

squirmyworm Wed 18-Feb-04 21:47:19

eek love the sound of your mad neigbour.
Relatives of my dh were funeral directors. Don't know if this cheers you up but they were lovely people, very cheerful and professional and good neighbours to have. All the 'dead body' stuff is done terribly discreetly

Demented Fri 02-Apr-04 23:22:38

Just a quick update on this. We received the planning notice for the funeral directors. We have written objecting and my DH has spoken to the owner of the business and just happened to drop our mad neighbour into the conversation and advised him to do some more research before deciding to bring his business here, pointed him towards people who would back us up about the neighbour. We have recently received a letter from Planning to say that the application has not been completed and they would get in touch again if it does become completed. The "To Let" sign is still in the window.

I don't want to be too complaicent but I think this probably means they have changed their mind. I am obviously still concerned about an empty property next door (empty for over a year now) I just wish they would sell to a developer who could change it back to residential.

robinw Sat 03-Apr-04 09:36:52

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Demented Sat 03-Apr-04 11:22:32

I know it could be worse, it's a big property so it's market is probably limited. I would just like is to be turned back into either a house or two flats. Although we could end up with awful neighbours, but then we've got one of those already!

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