Buliding nightmare

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    • #710033

      My neighnour and another couple of adjoining houses have decided to cash in on their long gardens. I decided againt as i like my peace and quiet and i bought my house specifically due to large garden. My neighbour who is attached to my house(semi d) is planning on entirely knocking his house to give a road access so they can put houses in his and the other 3 neighbours back gardens.

      My question is do you know if this is possible. Or (as i hope) it is not as my house will become structrually unsound by taking away his house which is currently attached on to mine?!

      He has not put the planning in yet but intends to?

      Thanks for your reponses in advance. Appreciate, as i am very concerned

    • #801200

      engage a good planning consultant to prepare a planning objection..

    • #801201

      It is not necessary to engage a planning ‘consultant’ (money for old rope) in a case as straightforward as yours; you’ve already outlined a perfectly good basis for objection. Your neighbour will have to serve you with some form of notice, or post one on his premises, if (s)he intends going ahead, so he cannot do it behind your back. If you’re uncertain about how to proceed formally, go to the Citizens’Advice Bureau (or equivalent) rather than filling the coffers of a onsultant.
      Have you spoken to your neighbour in friendly but firm terms? Sometimes awareness of a substantial material objection will be enough to put people off. This kind of ‘backland’ development is normally possible only with an established rear access; if there is none, I doubt that any planning authority would look at it at all favourably.

    • #801202

      That’s horrible. Is there any likelihood of him getting planning permission..ie has this been done before in the neighbourhood?You can object yourself on several grounds, you don’t necessarily need a lawyer. Without knowing the particulars, you can say that it’s out of character with the neighbourhood, it will interfere with your view/aspect,it could have structural ramifications for your house (possibly get an engineer to verify this for you). Will it interfere with drainage/sewage/water/electricity/phone supply to your house, and if he says it doesn’t, find out EXACTLY how it doesn’t, particularly in relation to your foul sewers. Depending on the design of the houses, they could also be out of character.Will it impinge on your garden, or access in any way? Basically you need to write a long letter outlining all your objections, and back them up where possible, such as with a structural engineer’s report and the like. This is sent to the council.It’s even better if you can get your hands on the planning application and go through it with a fine tooth comb,drawings and all…then you have exact examples of how it will interfere with you.Again since I don’t know the particulars, not all of those things could apply to you, but choose those that might, and there may be other things too.And it’s quite possible that if it does affect your house, he’ll have to pay for work to be carried out to make your house structurally sound aswell.Does he realise this?
      It’s pure greed.And stupidity to a point, because your neighbour should realise that it’s not a great market for building houses to sell at a profit.It’s just not happening anymore.If you’re really lucky, that realisation will hit him before he gets really going, and nothing will come of it. Good luck.

    • #801203

      jesus that’s ridiculous. Can’t imagine a grant but don’t take that as anything other than one uninformed anonymous opinion.No need for a consultant. Just a well structured letter will suffice outlining everything you ob ject to. A few pointers without knowing the details:

      – established redidential character is extremely important
      – use the term “detrimental to the residential amenity” which will be contrary to the development plan
      – if no precedent exists highlight this
      – New accesses to the public road can be difficult to get
      – will the access have sufficient sightlines etc? Is it close to another junction, high walls, vegetation etc?
      – Look at parking arrangements
      – Overlooking may occur depending on the garden length

      Have a look at the developemt plan’s development standards section for any pointers. Talk to the applicant. Study the application in the COuncil office or online. It sounds like a daft plan but often these are the ones that and up granted. come back to us and let us know how it goes

    • #801204

      Hi Everyone,

      Thanks for all your responses put my mind a little more at ease than i was. Most recent update is i told them again i am not interested. Also I found out there is a large storm drain running along the back gardens but apparently the builder thinks this won’t be a problem (but should help my case?) .

      Also, yes the access road will be on a bend and opposite anonter entrance to a cul de sac with approx 30-40 houses. Also this road has only access for one car at a time so it could make it a dangerous area> would i be correct?

      I can only assume it must be difficult to knock a house attached to another without both parties consent as there is a high possibility of damage to my property and it would involving daminging my property (initially) to remove house and then repairing me house afterwards. So i assume this is a no go without my consent.

      Thanks again and any other advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • #801205

      If there’s only access for one car at a time, surely access for fire fighting vehicles, refuse lorries, etc, etc, must be an issue ? Minimum standards for access will be set out in the development plan as others have said previously. In addition to any structural works that would be necessary to your house if his were demolished, the exposed wall would need to be insulated and weatherproofed which might further reduce the available width for access. Presumably you would have to approve all details anyway.

    • #801206

      Another point is read up on your local Development Plan (available on line) and see what the Council’s policy is regarding this type of development.

    • #801207


      Thanks again for your replies.

      Sorry i should have been a bit clearer. The road opposite is wide enough for fire engines and bin lorries. but i don’t think it would fit two cars. It is a small council development that was built yrs ago. Before everyone owned 2 cars!

      I looked at development plan and found this relating to backland developement

      Adequate vehicular access generally of a width of not
      less than 3.5 metres must be provided to the proposed
      new dwelling. A separation distance between the
      nearer edge of the proposed accessway and the
      side/gable of the existing dwelling should generally be
      not less than 3 metres. In general to satisfy this criteria,
      a side garden width of 6.5 metres would be necessary.

      I am not sure what it means?? Assuming they knocked the house attached to me to make the road, does it mean that the side nearest to me needs to be at least 3 metres from the side of my house?

      thanks again for all advice!

    • #801208

      I’ve seen four or five Semi-Ds being knocked down in the last three months, Sandford Road out to Roebuck is a little hotbed of this at the moment. I wouldn’t attach too much significance to the difficulty of doing this. Where profit’s involved, anything can be done.

      Densification is the direction we’re going and it’s probably a good thing, unless you happen to live beside it. The Local Authority is likely to be favourably disposed to the scheme, in principle, from the start.

      I would be surprised if issues of traffic hazzard or drainage even slow a scheme like this down. If I was you, I’d be inclined to do a bit of hard bargaining with your neighbours, get them to ammend their plans to put in planted buffer zones on your side or whatever it takes to soften the impact on you. If you just oppose it and you loose, you’ll end up with nothing, just more neighbours to have a poisonous relationship with.

      I’d even get them to stick in a potential vehicular access route to some point on your garden wall just in case you want to join the party later on. Act immediately, once it’s all been drawn up, it gets harder to influence the shape and form of the scheme as positions get entrenched.

      You really have to see the site before you can be too specific about actual widths etc. There are ways around all of these seemingly specific requirements.

      As well as negotiate, I mean still put in an observation in the 5 weeks and appeal the thing if they get the decision.

    • #801209

      Thanks gunter. But would it not be hard from someone to knock a semi d that is attached to my house. i would have thought that they would need my permission considering the immediate impact it will have on my house, and the fact that my house will (initlally) need to be damaged and then fixed up.

      To me the whole scheme seems ludicrious. I am not againt densification and there is plenty of work going on in my immediate area. (big development accross the road from me) It’s just the front of my hosue is a very busy road and i like the fact that i have a large back garden with a bit of privacy where my kids can play safely. So i don’t want to have a road at the side of my house and houses in my back garden.

      thanks again

    • #801210

      The planners will be better informed on this than I am but the applicant may make the case that it will increase your property’s value by making it a detached house

    • #801211

      dubber: They don’t need your permission, just planning permission. It would be easier for them to get planning permission if they had a letter from you consenting to the demolition, but this wouldn’t be a prerequisite. Your exposed party wall becomes a technical problem and technical problems have technical solutions.

      In most of the cases that I’ve seen, the developer retains a part of the their Semi-D and just truncates it, or incorporates it into a new corner build to accommodate the new entrance drive, just to make it easier to get over this particular hurdle. Full demolition of a Semi-D without offering some replacement would be unusual! I’d be surprised if they went down that road.

      As jdivision says, they’d be giving you ‘Detached’ status whether you wanted it of not.

    • #801212

      Thanks for advice gunter very helpful and appreciated. Not saying that the obsticles are insurmountable but it does appear to me that the odds are stacked against this development. I would imagine that the work involved and direct disruption to my house would mean it would be a whole lot easier if i was on side. Also, i think with the fact that he needs to knock the entire house to gain access and considering the 3 metre rule he would not really have much leeway in terms of keeping part of semi-d and truncating/corner build. I know the 3 metre rule is subjective but i assume it has its limitations?

      Also jdivion is right and i had thought of this. But on further exmination this is debatable, as i live on a busy road the semi-d is protecting my from a certain amount of noise pollution. Also the back setting will look a whole lot different with houses overlooking and a lot of green gone for concrete buildings. I personally don’t think the vlaue of house will be increased. also people may be scared away becasue of ‘perceived’ damage as a result of the dividing wall being removed? Also, as i have no intention of moving (ridulous prices and stamp duty is crazy!!) value is really not a factor?

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