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how do you win over your neighbour who hates your extension?

(17 Posts)
belhamwalk Tue 24-Oct-17 14:33:36

hi there, i'll try to be brief - we bought our new house with hard won planning permission in place.... i approached the neighbour before we bought it and told him in as friendly a way as possible we would be doing the work if we bought the property.... its in an area where at least 75% of homes have extended in some way.... they hate us and are summarily hostile etc... building works will commence soon, any advice?

FacelikeaBagofHammers Tue 24-Oct-17 14:44:40

Why do they hate the extension so much? Is it overlooking them? Does it share a boundary?

NoCryLilSoftSoft Tue 24-Oct-17 14:46:05

Ask them what they hate about it and see if there is anything you can change to lessen them impact on them if there is one.

HerRoyalNotness Tue 24-Oct-17 14:48:03

Maybe it's more the workers, noise and disruption than the actual plans. Is their house extended?

elQuintoConyo Tue 24-Oct-17 14:48:36

Plant some pampas grass...

Fekko Tue 24-Oct-17 14:48:43

Is it the extension they gate or are they just being horrible for any other reason?

Fekko Tue 24-Oct-17 14:49:50

Hate not gate.

Will they be overlooked or have light blocked? Will there be a lot of building work?

sleepingdogslying Tue 24-Oct-17 14:55:51

I had this - I went round to see them to ask what they would be happy with to which the husband replied, “Nothing”.

I went ahead anyway, but was —overly— very cheerful and friendly every time I saw them even though they initially tried to blank me. I gave them a bottle of wine part way the work for the inconvenience and continued being extremely nice. I’ve been here 6 years now and they are quite good neighbours.

whiskyowl Tue 24-Oct-17 14:56:06

Be relentlessly charming and polite when you see them. Ignore the sulk. Let them get used to the new building once it's done, give them time to come around.

In terms of extensions, it's pretty rare these days to get PP for something that actually has a massive impact on the neighbours. Perceived harms and actual harms are very different in many cases!

AmazingGrace16 Tue 24-Oct-17 15:01:03

We invited our neighbours over for drinks and nibbles to chat everything through. I'll be posting notes through everyone's doors when work commences with a contact for the builder on site in case of any issues (vans in the way etc)
I just plan on being completely open with communication so neighbours feel they can approach us.

belhamwalk Tue 24-Oct-17 15:12:44

the extension is at the front (side extension) so will affect their feeling of light and space but it abuts their driveway and garage so its not visible thought their front windows and not right there when they open their front door.... i think I'm going to go down the relentlessly cheerful route with lots of baked goods etc... its just a shame because we've just moved in - the previous owners fought with them to get the planning permission, I kind of feel like they are taking it out on the wrong person... and the house is run down so we are improving it (I'm sure they would prefer it if we improved it without extending..) but you know, you can't just let a house slowly decline, surely thats not preferable?

Oly5 Tue 24-Oct-17 15:15:37

I think they need to just get on with it if planning permission is in place.
Just be very nice to them and ignore their sulking.
Not sure I’d post the name of your builder.. it’s asking for complaints

whiskyowl Tue 24-Oct-17 15:21:49

belham - Please recognise that this may not be about you at all!

My PIL are absolutely poisonous about the extension their next door neighbours have done. They literally sit there and seethe about how AWFUL the cladding is (it's not) and how terribly their garden is kept compared to the last owner who "only sold it to them so they would look after it" (it wasn't that good before, and it's not that bad now). It's a perfectly innocuous build, absolutely nothing wrong with it, and impinges on them not one iota.

The truth of the matter is two-fold. Firstly, the neighbours moved in round about the time that MIL's father died. MIL has translated some of the anger and grief she feels into an irrational dislike of these people. Secondly, the elderly lady who lived there spent a long time chatting to PIL (she was lonely), whereas the new family keep themselves to themselves. PIL cannot bear this - they feel the world owes them their time, a cup of tea, and a long conversation every day. It has since emerged that the family living there has actually been dealing with their own internal tragedy - the father of two teenage daughters was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in his 50s and has since died. So no wonder they wanted a bit of privacy and didn't take care of the garden. But does this make a difference to PIL? Not one jot. They feel they should have been invited in and made a fuss of, in spite of whatever the family were going through. I'm afraid this is borne out in all of their behaviour to others. They are simply colossally selfish.

Basically, some people are entitled. It's not your fault they are like that. All you can do is your best to smile, be nice, and turn things around, but DON'T - repeat DON'T - let it upset you. It isn't your fault, and planning simply wouldn't allow an extension that ruined someone else's air/light to that extent that it turned their house into a Victorian slum back-to-back.

belhamwalk Sat 03-Feb-18 10:44:18

thanks everyone. relentlessly cheerful i will be!

Coloursthatweremyjoy Sat 03-Feb-18 10:59:05

A relative of mine made a huge fuss over the neighbours extension. No idea why, it's fine, nice actually... but relative thinks they shouldnt have moved there if they wanted a bigger house... these poor people can't do a thing right...they got a dog. A dog! It's large and everything! I thought she was going to say it barked a lot but it doesn't she just thinks 'they' shouldn't have a dog.
Relative used to have a dog.

Basically they have lived there a long time and just don't like change. The neighbours are just pleasant and cheerful. Only doing nothing would have pleased her. It's not their fault and this isn't yours.

peteneras Sat 03-Feb-18 11:19:00

Well, tough! It's jealousy more than anything else in most cases.

LadyLapsang Sat 03-Feb-18 11:20:26

Will they be at home during the building work? If so, be especially careful to only allow the builders to work during permitted times and give them the heads up when particularly noisy aspects of work are to be carried out, so they can possibly arrange to go out / away, if they prefer. Make sure the builders are considerate regarding parking etc. and possibly if you are getting a skip, offer them the chance to get rid of things if needed. Wine / chocolates when its done and invite them round to see it - they may decide to extend their own home, then it will be your opportunity to be relaxed about the noise / inconvenience.

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