Whats the Law re: raising garden

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Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby lisagirly » Mon Feb 15, 2016 11:27 pm

We are on a slight slope and have very dense clay soil. All the gardens in our street of houses do experience some flooding. Our new neighbour moved in last summer and created in their garden what they called a soakaway. This winter our garden flooded horrendously. We've had to pay someone to professionally install a soakaway to cope with the flooding. We've tried to talk to the neighbours but they refuse to believe they have caused an issue and say they had planning permission, then became verbally abusive and now refuse to talk to us. We didn't need planning permission for our soakaway. We were chatting to the installer and described what they did and he said they didnt go nearly deep enough, as it clay soil the soakaway needs to go below the permeable layer. The one next door is full of brick and rubble and is now over 1ft higher than our garden. Another neighbour has arranged for planning officer to inspect it but I dont think anything will come of this as you dont need planning for it. Does anyone know what steps we can take?
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby despair » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:39 pm

Planning permision is required to raise land levels

Your neighbour cannot make alterations which diverts their groundwater onto your land

its up to them to create a proper drainage system and connect it to main drainage system not expect you to deal with it

i doubt any form of soakaway in clay soil could ever cope with extremes of weather seen recently
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby lisagirly » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:28 pm

my husband got a email from the council saying planning isnt required to raise garden level unless it involves construction? Im not sure what this means? I also thought planning would be needed to raise level of garden.
That said, it was never really their intention, they claim they created a soakaway, but its not deep enough, hence garden has been raised
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:20 am

Hi lisagirly,

imagine having to apply for planning permission to dig a hole in your garden because the pile of earth you'd remove would constitute a raised area...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby jonahinoz » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:05 am

Hi,

IF your neighbours applied for Planning Permission, and it was granted, then your Planners should be able to show you a copy.

If the development was likely to affect your property, then the Planners should have told you about the application.

A quick phone call should tell you if an application was submitted and approved.

John W
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:09 pm

Hi lisagirly,

[i]they claim they created a soakaway, but its not deep enough, hence garden has been raised[/i]

installing a soakaway at any depth, if done properly, should not raise the level of the land.

your claim that their soakaway caused the flooding in your property - rather than the torrential amounts of rain which landed on your property during the same period - needs evidence.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby Hugh Jaleak » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:47 pm

Why exactly did they create this soakaway/what drains into it? Construction of any soakaway should be preceded by a percolation test, in order to ascertain the amount of water the subsoil will absorb. Clearly, in clay soils, this will be a lot less than in some other soil types.

When planning building work now their is a hierarchy that has to be followed for surface water drainage. Firstly, soakaway. If the ground proves unsuitable then a surface water sewer can be considered. Last resort is a foul or combined sewer. Building Control at the local Council will make the ultimate decision here.
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby jonahinoz » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:10 am

[quote="Hugh Jaleak"] Last resort is a foul or combined sewer. Building Control at the local Council will make the ultimate decision here.[/quote]

Hi,

My neighbour built a bungalow in his garden. The Planners demanded a soak-away. The BCO told him to connect his surface water to the sewer.

So it does happen.

John W
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby arborlad » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:58 am

lisagirly wrote: We were chatting to the installer and described what they did and he said they didnt go nearly deep enough, as it clay soil the soakaway needs to go below the permeable layer.



Your installer seems competent and knows what he's talking about, is there any likelihood he could chat/mediate with the neighbour and offer suggestions that will benefit all of you.

Whether the neighbours works required planning permission would depend on the nature and scale of those works, from what you've described it seems small scale and unlikely to require PP.

A 'soakaway' in clay of insufficient depth will just become a sump and any pipes leading from it will create a nuisance that the neighbour is liable for.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby Hugh Jaleak » Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:23 pm

Quite possible John. Planners tell you what they want to see. Building Control tell you what will actually work. ;-)
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby lisagirly » Sun May 01, 2016 10:29 pm

finally heard back from planning, basically saying they inspected the site and planning permissions is not required for the re-levelling of the garden. Very helpful, as we already knew that! its the neighbours that keep saying they have installed a soakaway (they havent, the basically buried all their lumps of concrete foundation in a large 2 ft deep hole!) and said they had planning permission for it (which they didnt because they didn't need it!). So stepping away from the whole planning permission issue, what our next move? We have had to pay over £1k to install additional drainage and another soakaway due to their actions. In terms of evidence, we have photos of the flooding in our garden compared to their garden (which had no flooding) and a video showing the water flowing down from their garden into ours. We also have pics from the same time last year of the gardens which showed theirs was flooded worse than ours (pure luck as it was the first year we had known about the flooding in the gardens so I was out taking pics). Also the neighbours 2 along (on the other side) are an elderly couple who have lived in their home for 30 years and they have said their garden has never flooded as badly as it did this year and they have had much worse rain in previous years. They also took photos clearly showing the flooding ebbing in from the neighbours garden and a very good photo that clearly shows the neighbours garden is about a foot higher than theirs now. What are the next steps? Thanks
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Re: Whats the Law re: raising garden

Postby span » Sun May 01, 2016 11:24 pm

Court, or threat of court action.
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