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Obscure-glazed windows

(8 Posts)
WattdeEll Fri 03-Mar-17 12:10:14

Our elderly neighbours have a side window which they changed a few years before we moved in to this house from obscure glazed windows to clear. We rented this house for a short while before we bought it, and during the rental time they mentioned a few times that they hope we didn't mind that they had changed the window, it gives them a nicer view at the front of the house.
I do mind, because it gives them a view into our back garden which would otherwise be completely private. However, because it happened before we moved in or purchased the house and they are very elderly I don't think there is anything that can be done. When we come to change our side windows could we order clear glazed too, since they can't object? Alternatively could we lodge something with the council so that when their windows are changed next time they must be obscure-glass?

WattdeEll Fri 03-Mar-17 12:22:27

I should add that their property is much higher than ours as we are on a hill, so it would be counterproductive for us to put in anything to stop them being able to see into our garden because it would need to be enormous and would block the sun.

twocockers Fri 03-Mar-17 12:25:01

Don't think you have any right to say what windows they have.

sallylondon Fri 03-Mar-17 12:43:22

Windows on sides of houses are normally frowned upon by council planning departments, but if they're essential for light purposes, it will usually either have to be obscure glazed and non opening, or 1.7m above the room floor level so no one can see out. I don't know if you have any power over existing windows though - the above would only apply for extensions and new builds. Following with interest in case someone knows more than me.
If it bothers you, I would speak to them nicely about it. But now the precedent is set, it may be hard to undo.

WattdeEll Fri 03-Mar-17 13:01:05

Thanks Sally.

Twocockers, I'm not saying I have a right, all the houses were built with planning permission, this included having obscure glazing on the side windows. They have changed theirs while the previous owner of this house had passed away and it was being sold. They've changed something that was specified in the planning permission, but historically, to our detriment. I would be interested if there was a way to specifiy future windows were glazed as per the original planning permission. We are also in a conservation area so windows shouldn't be changed without permission.

Kiroro Fri 03-Mar-17 13:56:23

We are also in a conservation area so windows shouldn't be changed without permission.

Can you contact the council planning department and make a complaint? Might force them to put them back to obscure if that was part of te PP / and / or not done with permission as part of conservation area.

twocockers Fri 03-Mar-17 15:09:23

Oh I see - sorry didn't realise it should be that way and they've changed it x

bojorojo Fri 03-Mar-17 17:09:47

If it is a condition of the PP (and it would be a privacy issue) they cannot just change it. I would contact the council. They usually have Conservation officers who would talk to you. Ask if the Planning Dept is willing to take action.

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