Ludicrous council complaints procedure borders on corrupt.

Ludicrous council complaints procedure borders on corrupt.

Postby Minkeycat » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:16 pm

We're in an ongoing communication with our planners about their CO allowing our neighbour to remove an old, stone boundary wall between his property and ours without any kind of permission. We're both in G2 Listed properties in a conservation area. Our point is that we've suffered significantly as a result of the removal of the wall which has changed the character of the space, cost us privacy, exposed our property and caused us to have a break in but the most significant problem for us is that we can't use that area of our land as we want as we need a secure boundary for our pets who can now get onto a road. Had the neighbour been made to apply for permission, we would have been notified and could have stopped the removal of the wall on grounds that it wasn't even his to remove (historically it's ours but ours and the neighbour's deeds are silent so we view it as 50/50 owned by both houses). As it was, we came back one afternoon to find it gone. We think the CO made an error that set in motion a series of events that have cost us dearly and that they should work with the neighbour to reinstate a secure boundary. What's more, if WE want to put back a structure, WE have to pay for permission to put it back because it's in the curtilage of our listed building.

Initially we asked the CO what had been allowed. Our neighbour tells us he immediately forwarded our email to him as a complaint, we got a "thanks for that" and relations with him have been soured because of it as this caused him to threaten to put a boundary back following a spurious line on an old map :roll: which would cut off access to our land. He then called solicitor then the land registry then came and apologised from him because presumably they told him to stop being stupid.

The CO emailed and said "Permission wasn't required" so we phoned him to ask why and find out what's going on. In his absence, another CO told us "Permission should have been sought and a like for like will have to be put back". We to'd and fro'd for a while getting nowhere so escalated to the Head of Planning. She told us she'd clarified the situation with the CO based on his superior knowledge having visited the site and we need permission to put a boundary feature back because it's within the curtilage of our building and that's listed.

So we asked why he hadn't need permission to remove it then and were told "He's demolishing you're constructing". This is wrong as it's all development so we pushed and were told "The wall wasn't in relation to a road" which is irrelevant because it's listed. So we escalated to our MP and he was told we just don't like what we're being told but it was all based on fact and legislation "relevant to the specific situation" . So we escalated to their official complaints procedure and were told that the wall wasn't a wall but a bank with a hedge on top. So we asked the chap investigating to come and look for himself as part of the wall still stands so he could see it's a wall and other evidence. He's concluded that, actually, the wall isn't in the curtilage of the building because it 'appears' to be more spatially related the neighbour's land than ours (it runs between the two and was built by the farmer when our house was a farmhouse to keep cattle in the yard it surrounds while they were waiting to be milked in the milking parlour that's part of our house!). Consequently, they claim, the initial decision to allow its removal was correct and sorry for the mis-information we'd received [from the Head of Planning having consulted with the CO who'd visited the site at least twice to clarify this matter].

So they're judge AND jury and have retrospectively ruled that they're right by being wrong, that any issues are between us and the neighbour and WE must now pay a solicitor to take on the neighbour to put back a boundary feature. If we don't succeed, he'll get a completely fenced in garden, paid for by us PLUS a great deal of building stone from our old wall that he's effectively stolen and is using in other projects. How is this right or fair? We've done nothing. How do we get the planners to take responsibility for their bad decision that was made in person, undocumented and that has caused us to be inconvenienced for over a year by preventing us from using our land and that has materially benefitted a self-professed property developer? The council complaints procedure is clearly a joke and they have demonstrated a total lack of integrity, ignored every single bit of evidence we've produced and just made up a convenient response. Is it even worth continuing with this? Maybe we should just take the hit and know that we've been screwed. It just seems so wrong. We're decent, honest people. We don't want to cause problems for others but we're being well and truly shafted here and it's got to stop somehow.

Any sensible advice would be much appreciated.
Minkeycat
 
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Re: Ludicrous council complaints procedure borders on corrup

Postby jdfi » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:04 pm

I have considerable sympathy for you. I wouldnt like to comment on council procedures.

Is there a way you can subdivide your garden to animal proof part of it whilst leaving a hole here?

Do deeds (download your and his title register) make it clear who owns the wall? Or mention mesne?

If it is half or all yours, then the stone would seem to follow
jdfi
 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:39 pm


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