Sad - seem to have lost a friend over planning permission issue...(3 Posts)
DD has a friend she's known since they were both 8 months old. She now goes to another school, but we liked the family - even went on hols with them.
I saw the Mum socially, and my DH went & did 'Boys things' with the Dad - still does a bit.
However the Dad is a builder & developer, and about 18 months ago we found out that he'd offered to buy a small house on a large plot at the back/end of our road - subject to getting planning permission for it - for 8 two bedroom flats.
The local residents were really unhappy with the proposal - the area we live in is ALL detached houses, the access to the flats would have been poor, and caused lots of traffic on a private road, which doesn't have any pavements, so is alreday dangerous at the best of times.
We felt in a really awkward position, since they were friends of ours, but tried to think how we would react about it if we didn't know them, and followed our instincts, which were to support the residents campaigning against the planning permission.
Basically the flats would have been 4 metres higher than the original house and have overlooked our (currently secluded) back garden.
Anyway, the application, and subsequent applications have now been rejected. Since then the parents have been decided frosty- particularly the bloke - not wanting to engage in any social activity etc.
DH says to just leave it - it's their decision, but I just think it's so silly to let what is effectively a non-personal 'business' decision destroy a friendship?
I expect they need wound-licking time, for a start. So leaving it for a bit might be right.
Have all development applications been conclusively refused? On the other hand if there's still hope they may be working on a new one and want to keep themselves to themselves while they develop it?
We did an extension on our flat and the first application was refused after the residents' association objected to a rather "contemporary" design. The chair of the assoc. phoned us up and said, look I'm sorry I was part of what got you refused but I've got this sort of duty to the area [the buildings are listed] so I had to. He then said if you'd like to chat about what we would support I'd be happy to .. etc. etc. So we discussed, came up with another proposal, it was supported and we got it. Win-win situation - but it did depend on everyone being grown-up & reasonable throughout. Are your neighbours reasonable like that?
I don't think you had much alternative (we are fighting a proposal for pp for 10 terraced houses as an extension to our close atm) and even if you hadn't joined it the objection it would probably still not have been passed. Doubt you can do much to rescue the friendship , given their reaction. He must have realised it would have an impact on you personally when he considered the development so it is he who mixed business and personal lives.
Things may resolve themselves in time but in the meantime I think you just have to let it go. Your paths may cross again, perhaps through your daughters joining the same activity, by which time he may have taken advantage of another business opportunity and feel less aggrieved.
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