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Balcony and planning permission *images removed by MNHQ at OP's request*

(724 Posts)
Morley19 Mon 03-Dec-18 13:03:52

Does anyone have any experience of balconies and planning permission? Epxperience of a situation similar to mine?

My neighbours have put this up without planning permission. I have reported it and they have to put a retrospective planning application in.

The photo looking outside is the view from my bedroom window. gives them a direct view into my bedroom and even onto my landing. The external photo shows the vastness of it and the ridiculous amount of overlooking.

To me, there is no way they should get planning permission for this. but I hear of such weird decisions by councils. I have already drafted my objection (the planning application is meant to be in by end of this week) but I am very worried that they may get approval.


OP’s posts: |
FaceLikeAPairOfTits Mon 03-Dec-18 13:05:40

Blimey, OP, that's a roof terrace! shock

Morley19 Mon 03-Dec-18 13:07:53

That is exactly how I described it to someone yesterday!

I just think it is a disgusting invasion of privacy. I can't use my bedroom without shutters being closed or even walk on my landing without making sure my bedroom door is closed.

to me it is black and white and should be refused but it really worries me when I hear stories about what councils allow sometimes. In my objection letter I have asked for a planning officer to visit my home to witness it first hand

OP’s posts: |
whatsthecomingoverthehill Mon 03-Dec-18 13:10:09

I really doubt that they would get permission for it. i know someone who had similar (except they didn't do a retrospective application and it wasn't as blatant as this) and the planning was turned down. Is it Leeds planning by any chance (just going by your name)?

FaceLikeAPairOfTits Mon 03-Dec-18 13:10:23

I don't know whether legally from a planning perspective a roof terrace is different to a balcony, but it certainly protrudes much further than a balcony does, therefore maximises the amount of your house that they can see into. Awful.

Have you been here long enough to read the legendary gymbalow thread by MrsDV?

whatsthecomingoverthehill Mon 03-Dec-18 13:15:08

The case I know of was refused because of loss of privacy/overlooking of the garden, not even being able to see into the house. It should absolutely be a slam dunk.

Make sure that you put on your comments that it is the garden being overlooked as well as being able to see into your room. Otherwise, they might try and just put a screen up on that side of the terrace.

Morley19 Mon 03-Dec-18 13:20:22

Thanks for your replies ladies

I am horrified that they have done up but, unfortunately, they are that type of person.

No it isn't Leeds, am in the Northwest.

Yes I have definitely gone into detail in my objection letter about all the different overlooking aspects.

No I haven't seen the gymbalow thread! I will look for it now


OP’s posts: |
whatsthecomingoverthehill Mon 03-Dec-18 13:39:16

Your council should have a Householder Design Guide (or similar), and there will also be various policies in their core strategy and development plan. If you can refer to those specific policies it would be good, particularly if your neighbours have tried to say how they are meeting those policies. (The planners should still interpret what you say in relation to the policies but it doesn't harm to make the link clear).

Morley19 Mon 03-Dec-18 13:54:57

Thank you

I have indeed done that. Have done a lot of research online and quoted the various documents (and paragraphs therein) adopted by my council with regards to planning and extensions etc


OP’s posts: |
FaceLikeAPairOfTits Mon 03-Dec-18 14:07:23

I can't find the thread at the mo, OP, but it was a thread by MrsDeVere about her next door neighbours building a bungalow in their back garden and then pretending it was a gym. It was awful, I think in the end she was unable to get anything done about it.

Morley19 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:13:45


That is my concern. To me, my case seems so black and white but you hear such awful stories of things getting approved.

OP’s posts: |
wowfudge Mon 03-Dec-18 14:31:28

Ouch - that is not just a balcony! What's underneath it? Our old ndns had one, which they claimed was a freestanding structure (don't ask) and therefore didn't require pp. The good thing was that they rarely used it, despite it's set in runway lighting and steps down to the garden. Good luck with your objection. Did you also mention the security aspects when you objected?

Morley19 Mon 03-Dec-18 14:38:15

Thanks wowfudge.

It is on top of a ground floor extension

I haven't put security aspects into my letter. Great idea, will do that

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Thewixxx Tue 04-Dec-18 09:35:55

Hi OP,
I am an Architectural Technologist and have been putting in planning applications for new builds and extensions for 20 years.
There is no way that planning will be given.
Firstly balconies are not permitted development (i.e. able to be built without planning permission), which is an application is being forced on your neighbours.
Secondly, for the privacy issues you have highlighted in your photos, a balcony such as that one will be refused planning permission.
If they have some professional help, they may investigate the possibility of erecting a 7ft tall visual barrier on the flat roof, between the two properties, to block any views back into your windows, this might be passed planning.
Just something I noticed in the first photo, is there a balcony to the neighbour further along? Did that receive planning permission?

Morley19 Tue 04-Dec-18 12:07:33

Thank you Thewixxx, I really appreciate your professional input

I have thought about the potential of a glazed side screen so have covered it in my objection letter - saying that even if that was put in place it then has a seriously detrimental effect on light into my property, you could still look round the edge of it into my property (unless the screen continued round the front of the property) and is still gives a completely unobstructed view over my entire garden from the huge frontage of the balcony.

There is a kind of balcony on the other property. It is the only one in the area. It is actually a fire escape (property over a shop) that they did get planning permission for about 12 years ago. However, it is very different to my scenario. It is a detached property, set further back from our properties and it is nowhere near anyone's bedroom etc??

I have drafted my objection letter ready. I was wondering whether to get a solicitor to submit it. Do you think this would carry any more weight with the planners??

OP’s posts: |
PurpleFlowersInMyHair Tue 04-Dec-18 13:42:19

Gosh this is awful- not just for lack of privacy- but it gives easy access for any burglars looking to break into your house. I’d be furious.

Morley19 Tue 04-Dec-18 13:46:58

Thanks Purple.

I am absolutely furious with them. There is more behind the story (including them coming round shouting at me several months ago when they said they were going to do it and I informed them it wasn't permitted development and they needed planning permission). Nothing happened for 9 months and then I get home from work one night a month ago and this was there. It is horrendous.

The burglars point is valid but I'm not sure it is something the council would consider?? There is a list of certain things they take into account when considering whether to give planning permission and things they specifically don't take into account (eg perceived loss of value, loss of a view). I don't think increased security risk is something they would consider, although I think I will put it in the letter anyway

I am SO worried that the council may grant them permission



OP’s posts: |
2doglady Tue 04-Dec-18 15:52:49

I haven’t posted on mumsnet for years but rejoined just so I could comment on this.

Three years ago I could have written your exact messages, as our next door neighbour did exactly the same to us. There are so many similarities. When he mentioned it to us we told him it required planning permission and his response was that his mate had told him he didn’t need it. Nothing happened for a year and then one day construction started.

We too got in touch with our council’s planning enforcement team, who came out straight way and told him to apply for retrospective planning permission, which he did. Ourselves and three other neighbours objected and planning permission was refused. He was given three months to take it down, although he left it to the very last day of the deadline to do so. Are any of your other neighbours impacted by it as well?

Like you our bedroom is at the back so the balcony would have enabled people to look in. Not only did we mention loss of privacy and overlooking in our letter of objection, but also noise nuisance from people sitting/standing on the balcony talking. My husband has some experience from his work of noise nuisance and talking on a balcony is not the same as people talking in a garden. It’s far more intrusive because of how noise carries. You might want to include noise nuisence in your letter as well.

The Planning Officer was going to pay a site visit to next door so we asked him to come and view the balcony from our garden as well.

After the refusal our neighbour saw himself as very much the victim and I also got shouted at, especially when he found out I had discussed it with other neighbours, some of whom would have objected anyway. I think he thought I was canvassing them to object, which was not the case.

Like you we had our doubts as to what the Council would decide but as I say they did refuse it in the end.

Starkstaring Tue 04-Dec-18 16:01:09

You should also contact your ward councilor - let them have a copy of your objection and ask if they will look into the application for you.

I would also add to your objection that even with screening you would feel totally exposed if they were on their balcony chatting and you were in your bedroom with the window opening.

Morley19 Tue 04-Dec-18 16:24:15

2doglady - thank you SO much for your post (and even rejoining to be able to comment and help me.

that has given me some reassurance. I will definitely make sure I mention noise disturbance in the objection letter.

The relationship between me and the neighbours is now practically non-existent and will only get worse when they see my objection letter. I think some other neighbours will object too

I am really pleased yours got rejected and hope mine does too

thanks again

OP’s posts: |
Morley19 Tue 04-Dec-18 16:25:28


That is a very good point about the ward counsellor, I will make sure I contact them too

And will definitely mentioned the noise issue with regards to the balcony

thanks for replying

OP’s posts: |
Wauden Tue 04-Dec-18 16:31:56

Maybe show the roof terrace to a crime prevention officer via local police station. The local police station could be in the phone book.

2doglady Tue 04-Dec-18 16:45:17

Morley 19 I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

BubblesBuddy Tue 04-Dec-18 20:30:09

A solicitor won’t make any difference. A planning consultant would. There are categories of professionals that rank above the mere public. DH is a consulting engineer(structures) and he does.

AlanThePig Tue 04-Dec-18 20:40:04

Thats bloody awful. Would be amazed if it did get planning though.

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