3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

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bluebelle
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3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by bluebelle » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:07 am

Hello - apologies for the 2 previous posts with half of query missing! Don't know what happened :roll:
To continue........ I live in a house/unadopted road which had fields behind it, now being built on. 30 houses immediately behind me, with 2 x 4 bedders 21metres my back wall to theirs, garages, bike sheds and a row of terrace houses further left.
So we have lost our privacy as they look square in to us and over us.
Now they're landscaping the new gardens I was surprised at the significant drop in the level of the land between 'them' and 'us'. There is a 3m PROW separating us (which is level with our gardens).
I've queried it with the council as this difference in height means they look RIGHT in to us, into our rooms and in every corner of our gardens. I'm also concerned about flooding as there will only be wooden post fencing and shrubbery put up.
A guy from the council came out Thurs. Spent an hour with me and has confirmed that the land for the new housing should only be 4cms higher than mine. He's said it's more like 40cm. I think higher than that but have not measured.
Since then the builders have been frantically moving soil, effectively creating a ditch but landscaping of gardens has continued despite the council saying they will get them to 'drop the gardens'. However, this won't drop the houses!
He's also said that the builders won't be made to adhere to the original plan as 'too expensive'.
Is that it? Do we just have to suck it up? This has made such a difference to us as they are very imposing. Is it really a case of one rule for them and another for us as I'm sure this wouldn't be the case if I built an extension 1cm out of alignment!

MacadamB53
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by MacadamB53 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:24 pm

Hi bluebelle,

I'm sure this wouldn't be the case if I built an extension 1cm out of alignment!

that's very presumptuous of you.

you say you've measured nothing - I'd be doing that first so I knew how different the build was to the approved plan.

if the differences are considered not significant enough that they would have altered the decision to grant planning permission then that's it.

Kind regards, Mac

arsie
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by arsie » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:44 pm

35cm garden land height difference is neither here nor there and from what you say if there is a risk of flooding and if the houses are built on a slope they may have decided to make them stand higher. Modern housing tends to be higher to create more floor space per ground sq metre and on smaller plots, at the cost of overlooking older houses nearby. Slab level tends to be an on-site builders' decision, not specified in plans. When our new garage replaced an old outhouse behind our terraced cottage, the slab was levelled from the highest edge and so there was an extra foot of bare slab in view from our cottage windows.

mr sheen
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by mr sheen » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:24 pm

When you bought your property you bought a degree of control over the land up to the boundary of what you purchased and no further. Outside the boundary of your land, the land is under the control of someone else. You have taken the appropriate steps if you have a complaint about the development ie you contacted the Council. The Council have looked into your complaint and responded. The Council can choose whether to take action or not, you cannot force them to.

The only way to get control over land surrounding you is to buy it since we can't have a situation where owners of neighbouring land can extend their control over land they do not own.....since that may lead to millions being homeless since everyone wants to retain fields and views for themselves to personally enjoy rather than having housing developments around them.

arsie
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by arsie » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:48 pm

As regards levels, as I said the main concern would be drainage: the builders build; the local authority inspects (the Building Control department) to assure levels are satisfactory, falls are adequate and pipes are to correct size and depth. Slab height is worked to the lie of the land.

General site massing and eyelines etc would normally be presented schematically or via models when a large development is submitted for approval. If you have/had objections to the views or to being unduly overlooked, then this would have been the time for objections to be considered.

bluebelle
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by bluebelle » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:23 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi bluebelle,

I'm sure this wouldn't be the case if I built an extension 1cm out of alignment!

that's very presumptuous of you.

you say you've measured nothing - I'd be doing that first so I knew how different the build was to the approved plan.

if the differences are considered not significant enough that they would have altered the decision to grant planning permission then that's it.

Kind regards, Mac

I'm not an expert on building regulations, otherwise I wouldn't be on here but my only experience or rather that of friends/acquaintances is that any deviation from plans is considered unfavourably by the council so that's what I based my presumptuous comment on.

I haven't had a chance to measure - this took place Thursday and been away all weekend. Though I will be out there asap. Incidentally, the council said that the builders couldn't measure accurately without some sort of special piece of equipment or other which I'm very surprised they don't seem to possess.

I wonder what would be considered a significant difference? Believe me with a house backing straight on to you half a metre makes quite a considerable difference.
Last edited by bluebelle on Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bluebelle
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by bluebelle » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:25 pm

arsie wrote:they may have decided to make them stand higher
are they able to do this without seeking further permissions do you know? Thanks

bluebelle
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by bluebelle » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:28 pm

mr sheen wrote:since that may lead to millions being homeless since everyone wants to retain fields and views for themselves to personally enjoy rather than having housing developments around them.
we are all resigned to having lost our 'personal' enjoyment of the open land. My objections are based on the fact that the houses look into us far more than they should because of their height, plus the risk of flooding to mine and my neighbour's. I'm left wondering what is the point of planning regulations if the builders can make on site decisions not to go with them?

bluebelle
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by bluebelle » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:32 pm

[quote="arsie"If you have/had objections to the views or to being unduly overlooked, then this would have been the time for objections to be considered.[/quote]

When the original plans were submitted we were instructed that we were not allowed to object to loss of views and this is not the subject matter of my post. My query was the fact that the builders have not adhered to the plans, ie. the height of the land is higher than it should be, thus our privacy has been spoilt even more than expected. Until the council came out last week they were also not aware that the builders had not stuck to the correct height.

Also, because we are on a PROW we have limitations on how high we can have our fences. Also wouldn't want my garden to feel like a prison yard with a 10' high fence. :?

mr sheen
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by mr sheen » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:33 pm

They have done it.... The question now is, accepting the info you give.....what do you expect them to do about it?
Are you seeking demolition of the houses?....no chance! Or ....compensation? If so it is the builders you need to be complaining to in order to try to seek a settlement.....slightly higher than no chance but not much.

You can keep complaining to the council but the deed is done, there is little that can happen to change it now.

bluebelle
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by bluebelle » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:41 pm

mr sheen wrote:They have done it.... The question now is, accepting the info you give.....what do you expect them to do about it?
Are you seeking demolition of the houses?....no chance! Or ....compensation? If so it is the builders you need to be complaining to in order to try to seek a settlement.....slightly higher than no chance but not much.

You can keep complaining to the council but the deed is done, there is little that can happen to change it now.
Then I'm extremely naive! I expected planning regulations to be quite strict but that doesn't seem to be the case. I've learnt something :shock:

arborlad
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by arborlad » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:48 pm

Do you live on a flood plain or is there a history of flooding in your area?
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

bluebelle
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by bluebelle » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:57 pm

arborlad wrote:Do you live on a flood plain or is there a history of flooding in your area?
Not as far as I'm aware, we've had sporadic issues such as storm drains flooding in very heavy weather and when the building works started they flooded our road due to digging up the field and very heavy rainfall. The land slopes towards our road in but they've made it worse by not taking soil away and levelling off. I was told by one of the guys working there that it's too expensive for them to remove soil so they simply spread it around!
The council inspector said that the land shouldn't rise until it's past my house/garage (to the right). In fact it starts sloping behind my neighbour's to the left of me.

arsie
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by arsie » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:52 am

Bluebelle,

I don't know if you have seen the plans but they don't usually specify the levels. Height of the houses will be specified but, as I said, ground level is left to the builder on site to establish. No builder builds higher than he has to - increased cost - and the local authority building inspector visits and approves at various stages of the building process.

At planning submission you can object on specific planning grounds e.g. loss of light. But, as you say, loss of view is not grounds. One of my neighbours, a local councillor, had a small closely-packed estate of 2/3 story large houses built in a former garden behind his bungalow. They overruled his objections at planning time. He really is overlooked. Half the sky from his kitchen window is now filled with house. Yours doesn't sound quite as bad. Still not good though :(

gablewallhell
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Re: 3rd attempt to post - wish me luck!

Post by gablewallhell » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:04 pm

Hi Bluebell

Occasional poster here. My advice is to drop your issue with council and sort out some sort of bigger fence and some screening such as trees so you can't be overlooked as much.

Unfortunately nowadays, having a field behind your house is a luxury. Near to me a new estate is going up in farmland on the edge of 45 year old estate. I Imagine being on "the edge" was quite nice, they are now likely to have a huge three storey monstrosity 6m from their boundary!

My experiences have taught me to not let the issue get you down and learn to live with issue or mitigate it as much as you can.

Best wishes

Mark

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