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Dilema Old house .. New Development Nightmare(29 Posts)
We moved into our house in March, its an old house built in the 1760s and needed a lot of work doing to it - you can imagine. It had gotten too much for the previous owners and everything was very tired and grubby. We've started work on doing it up with the view of it being our forever home or for at least the next 20 plus years. New boiler, new kitchen,new bathroom, the list goes on complete re decoration.
Its a corner plot surrounded by older houses to the left of our house is a large open green field across a narrow road / lane, on Saturday we had a letter through the post saying theirs plans for 30 houses along this busy stretch of rather small road, creating a new housing estate of homes for rent. We knew nothing about this development although apparently it was granted permission 7 years ago for 12 new houses, the previous owners never mentioned anything and nothing came up in the searches.
Naively we just thought it was allotted "green space".
I can just about manage with the level of traffic we're very close to a busy school and main road, this letter has come as a huge shock and huge disappointment, I understand everyone needs a home but the proposal has got the whole neighbour hood completely disillusioned.
I went to the meeting yesterday, spoke to some lovely local councillors who all believe its a done deal and the meeting was just going through the motions and ticking boxes. They've even got the schedule worked out and if all goes through they be putting in a new junction across from my driveway in the spring.
Our initial thoughts were we've got to move, because it will just be to much traffic and noise in already built up area. But the house is in no condition to just put on the market and I wouldn't / couldn't sell the house to some unwitting buyer.
Previous owner still pops round and we still have to drop of their post as they've moved into rented, is it unreasonable to think they should have mentioned it ?
Would welcome any opinions just need some clear advice as I feel heartbroken and in limbo x Can't even think about christmas now.
Whilst I really do feel for you the old planning permission should have come up in your searches - it was not up to the vendors to tell you. If it’s new planning that’s been applied for you and anyone else local can try to oppose it/have it reduced to the original 12. I’m sorry but you can’t hold this against the previous owner.
We bought last year and discounted anything overlooking fields purely because it would only be a matter of time before they'd become housing estates, we ended up actually buying a new build, like PP while you're annoyance is understandable it wasn't the vendors responsibility to tell you.
All the searches we had back were covered in writing saying they only applied to x area and if we wanted a wider neighbourhood search to talk to the solicitor.
I think you were a little niave to think that any green space near existing housing was protected tbh.
Sit tight, do up the house, it might not be as bad as you fear, 30 houses isn't many.
These things do seem terrible initially but you soon adjust to the new reality after the development is complete. The dust, noise and disruption of the build period is another matter though.
I don't think it was the vendor's responsibility to tell you, and they may not have even known anyway if you just got a card through about it.
We recently offered on a house opposite an old gas works. I researched online to see whether the land was earmarked for anything (a housing development as it turned out but that didn't put us off.) My point is we never got as far as solicitors searches yet it's perfectly possible to find stuff out online yourself. I think you were a bit naive unfortunately not to do research of your own.
The sellers are not obliged to tell you and I’m afraid that any house next to a field runs the risk of ending up next door to a housing development sooner or later. You could perhaps speak to your conveyancer as to why this wasn’t discovered in the searches?
Does the space lead to other spaces that could be built on? If so I would be concerned about that too.
If there is additional space that could be built on, once they start it will all be developed. Thank the Conservative government for that.
I think your best angle if you want to hold someone to account might your solicitor. You could look into the shady counsellor stitch-up scenario - it's startling how often one of our local counsellor's business associates seem to win contracts round here.
The shock makes it feel huge but the idea will settle. I think you'd be surprised how little traffic 30 houses generates (once they are built). Cul de sacs of 40 or 50 houses can have children playing out all day quite happily, do they really don't create a tonne of traffic. We used to live in a narrow one and it was unusual to pass someone coming the other way.
OTOH if you do choose to sell, I doubt you'll lose money on your house. Someone else will snap it up in a better condition than you bought it in and they'll no doubt commission their own survey.
If it's any consolation OP, I live in a new build on a development of 80 houses (which were slotted in between two major areas of existing housing) and it's actually incredibly quiet! They began in 2019 and have just finished. Just the roads to tarmac and they're done. I was fully expecting it to be loud, people everywhere etc but honestly, everyone is friendly obviously but keeps themselves to themselves & the kids are generally respectful.
I do realise that's not the case everywhere, of course not. But it's not guaranteed to be noisy either, is all I'm saying. In fact, no word of a lie - I came out of my door on sunday afternoon and to absolute SILENCE. Not even a distant vehicle. In fact, rather alarmingly, not even a bird chirping So silent in fact, that it stopped me in my tracks.
The builders weren't noisy either and that's with my house having been one of the first built & therefore directly next to what was the building site's HQ where all the diggers were. The noisiest thing was the "Beep beep beep" reversing alarm on the plant machinery, which to be fair & honest was constant between 0730-1630. No other noise that I can remember and that's the honest truth
it was granted permission 7 years ago
How long does planning miss last? It might have lapsed and that's why it didn't come up.
It's not the vendors' fault though, it is down to your solicitor.
This would really upset me too.
I would contact the solicitor out of annoyance and ask why they didn't pick it up but I'm sure they are covered for any mistakes.
We have lots of possible new builds going up in lots of areas including farmland all around our district.
My oh says people need somewhere to live but I have the view that people move to places because they like it for the size it is - not for it to double in size without local opinions counting.
Yes the planning had lapsed and I checked the paperwork apparently it didn't come up in the searches as its viewed that it doesn't effect the house directly - which I think is nonsense.
I haven't spoken to the previous owners yet but will certainly bring it up when I next see them, theirs been a lot of hidden problems with the house so this is just another thing to deal with.
Not the point of your post I know OP, but this intrigued me:
“we still have to drop of their post as they've moved into rented”
Why is that? People who rent are allowed to setup mail redirection! What have they still got registered in their names coming to your house I wonder?
I don’t think you should mention it to the previous owners, simply because this will not achieve anything.
I don’t blame you for being upset.
One thing you can do if you suspect the development is too big, not enough amenities etc is instruct an independent planning consultant to look at the plans and see if there is anything they can see that you should challenge. Their comments will have more weight than yours alone. Also talk to your local councillor. Be proactive. You may not achieve anything, but you will have the full picture.
I honestly don’t think you should worry overmuch about selling your house. I do understand the worry, I really do, and it’s not nice, but either things will be okay in which case you stay or they won’t, in which case you move. But you don’t need to make that decision now.
If they do go ahead, make sure you keep on touch of the light pollution issue. Round us, harsh lights make night-time very ugly. In a formerly very beautiful rural area. It's like an airport. It's easy to forget during the day, or during summer, but it can be very intrusive after about four.
I don't get this...
Either - the planning is valid so surely your solicitor should have found it?
The planning has lapsed so it's not a done deal. They will have to reapply and you can make your case for any amendments you may wish to see. Although if it was granted before it possibly will again. You'll need to keep a very close eye on it and make sure they don't suddenly apply for 60 or anything else though.
I agree with pp, 30 isn't that many if it's already a busy area. It will be short term pain during building for a lovely forever home.
Its been a ongoing issue they've moved into a rented holiday home so apparently they can't receive post, they used to rent rooms here and I've had post from Bailiffs,HMRC,Police etc etc
They were planning on buying a farm with their son but we think its a pipe dream, their going to Thailand for 3 months, so god knows what I meant to do with all their post.
Do you think I should just start "return to sender everything" trouble is its difficult as they their really friendly to begin with but that quickly wore off...
That's crazy - they should sort themselves out with a PO Box then or at least come and pick it up themselves? Particularly if it really is bailiffs you don't want them associated with your address.
If you know when they are going to Thailand, use that as a deadline. They need to have a Mail redirection inplace before they go or you'll have to return to sender. And then do it.
Often old planning permission doesn’t come up
In searches. We had an issue where a wind farm pooped up fairly close by and we had absolutely no idea it was planned and (eventually) approved until we saw it being constructed. We were furious at the time, now though it doesn’t bother me at all.
I think 12 houses doesn’t sound too bad. You’d be better off waiting for it to be built then marketing your house than trying to sell now. People are always more accepting of a development when it’s been built than the idea of it.
I suspect they can get a mail redirection & next time they come round either ask them to do it or will be returned ( not known at this address ) 8 months is quite a while to be looking after someone else's post - if I have read correctly - & General post etc will do it ( I think up to a year )
Re the new builds I would not panic Just see how they are they are when finished and your house is finished. And just live for a while and see if they really are a problem or not I'll bet you a punnent of oranges to a sixpence they may not be as bad as you think.
A PP mentioned street lamps - what they do in my area is put a shielding thing on the back so it does not reflect into houses only on to the road But these are upright white lamp ones - not the huge overhanging orange ones.
I think we need a diagram, anyway I'd wait and see. It will take a few years probably and then you can do up your house and not worry about the noise and mess . Then decide to sell or stay. Shame about the field, but it does seem to go like that.