Conservation v reality...

Conservation v reality...

Postby pookie2 » Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:35 pm

Am all for conservation, but am fed up at how it is being implemented.

Live in small terraced house in an Architectural Conservation Area (but my street not a pretty one, just ugly mish-mash). My terrace was originally red brick, turn of century, but brick was poor quality & now most covered in cement or similar. Neighbouring terraces built in eighties, nineties & last year.

Still try to follow rules. Put in sash windows etc, while all neighbours went mad with pvc & replacing slates with tiles - and got away with it....

Now things have got ridiculous: constant holes in roof, as slates slipping coz supporting lats rotten. Roof will fall down if lats not replaced. Slates will fall off and - god forbid - hit car or person on head. Also no felt, so would like to put some in. However, conservation officer doesn't want me to lift slates.

All we want to do is lift slates, replace lats, relay same slates, thereby securing roof for future. Would look exactly the same, just stable. Conservation officer feels 'unnecessary' work - he hasn't even seen the house or know the street. Roofer warning me things will only get worse.

So, where do I stand if someone hurt by falling slates????
Can he really stop me fixing my roof? How does one appeal? Can one?
How can I find out exactly what this 'area of conservation' involves in my area?

Ironically, my next door neighbour has been granted permission to build a two storey house with BALCONY (kitchen-dining room) in garden next door - facing into my back garden & about 30 feet from my house - in the same conservation area. Nuts, or what?! garden only 12 feet wide.

In short, none of this encourages people to follow rules & get advice from conservation officers ot trust plkanning system, does it..... Just really disillusioned. Just feel this shows the insanity of the planning process here.....Where does sense come into the planning / coservation process????

(P.S. First post - hope this ok here)
pookie2
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:24 pm

Re: Conservation v reality...

Postby DJM » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:40 am

Hi Pookie

Have you gone through getting planning permission for this formally, or was it a pre-submission enquiry that you were advised that it would be refused?

On what grounds did he decide it was unnecessary if he's not visited to inspect for himself? Did you provide photos? If so, did they include examples of similar (poorer quality) repairs to adjacent properties? Is there evidence of water ingress to the roof void or into any rooms? Did the conservation officer suggest an overhaul might be acceptable rather than strip & re-slate? If you're property is circa 110 years old, possibly with it's original roof covering in place but that it's starting to fail, then I don't think DCC have much legitimate ground on which to refuse???

Assuming that the person you've been dealing with is a complete moron, I'd suggest that you start afresh. Phone and speak to a duty officer ask for a name to whom you can address a detailed letter of enquiry, follow it up outlining the facts as they are at this moment in time (don't mention that you've been told that the roof might fall in if the works aren't undertaken, it'll just weaken your argument), append photos of your property (including close-ups of any defects), the streetscape generally, and some similar (poorer quality) repairs to adjacent properties.

Bear in mind though that a roofing contractor will have a vested interest in making more work for himself, perhaps an overhaul would suffice (although of course a strip & re-slate would be the better option).
DJM
Member
 
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:32 pm
Location: Edinburgh

Re: Conservation v reality...

Postby johnglas » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:42 am

pookie2: you've done your best, but you can't expect the planning system to be rational all the time (or even part of the time). You don't say how old your house is, nor whether any of the other houses are of the same vintage. If the conservation officer is so dogmatic and unconcerned, just take a deep breath and do what yoy consider necessary and pragmatic while respecting the integrity of your house. Incidentally, a bacony 30ft away (with a side view?) can hardly be considered obtrusive. He sees your garden, but you see his balcony. You are living in a town, not the middle of the country.
johnglas
Senior Member
 
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:43 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: Conservation v reality...

Postby pookie2 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:23 pm

Hi, Johnglas

I think you'd prob have to look out my son's bedroom window to understand where I'm coming from about the house next door. Basically as they have breakfast, they'll be able to wave to him as he puts on his pjs! At the moment, we have a 100 by 12 foot garden, as do all our neighbours. Now, one of the gardens will vanish - the structure of the terrace, at least at the rear, will be permanently altered. And where, oh where, does a balcony fit in to the whole respecting the integrity of the area etc??? I could understand building at the other end of the garden - there's vehicular access - and having two smaller gardens backing on to one another, but asthetically, this is just wrong. I think part of my objection is just the whole design. It's like some 1990s Swiss chalet minus the wood....:)
pookie2
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:24 pm

Re: Conservation v reality...

Postby urbanisto » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:46 pm

Pookie2 - your local development plan might tell you something about the conservation area. It may also be referred to as an Architectural Conservation Area. If this is the case then the local authority may have prepared a document on what they wish to achieve in the area.

Gte in touch with your local councillor as well. See if they can help you negotiate with the Conservation Officer. Dont be too hard on them though...they are only trying to do a job, generally a thankless one.
urbanisto
Old Master
 
Posts: 2499
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Dublin

Re: Conservation v reality...

Postby pookie2 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:56 pm

StephenC,

Thanks for that. It is actually an Architectural Conservation Area. I'll check out that planning application. I've withdrawn my application temporarily until I follow up on some of the info I got here.

Ah, I know they're only doing their job, but sometimes they give the impression to eejits like me that we are the enemy, when we're only doing our best to maintain our homes while preserving the good bits as well. I think 'suspicion' is the best word to describe the reaction I experienced....
pookie2
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:24 pm

Re: Conservation v reality...

Postby pookie2 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:08 pm

Thanks DJM,

It started off as a simple enquiry as to what slate to use to replace any damaged ones, then POW.... everything snowballed. As we weren't changing anything - just fixing it up - I didn't expect a problem. I provided a photo of the roof & a report from the roofer - a nice, honest lad (strange but true :)) - at their request. Basically, the onus is on me to convince them, rather than the other way around.

Didn't think of sending in photos of neighbouring properties... Good point

The proof of water in the attic is basically the damaged lats. I've been good enough at repairing little leaks as the (frequently) appear.

I think they could well be the original slates & I'd be delighted to salvage as many as possible, but they won't all survive.

I'm a novice at this and I guess was disappointed that instead of gettinmg a clap on the back for trying to do the right thing, I was slapped back (if you know what I mean)

I'm withdrawing the application at the minute until I chase down suggestions here & suss out some other options. Maybe the lats can be supported instead of replaced???? I just don't want to have to be giving it tender loving care every year!

Thanks for advice. (By the way, was in Edinburgh during summer at family wedding. Really lovely city. Not perfect - but trying hard. Will return when tramline finished!!)
pookie2
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:24 pm


Return to Irish Planning Matters