Neighbour starting to grate...

27 Dec 2008
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United Kingdom
Our neighbour rebuilt his house 2 years ago. The house isn't finished yet.

He has patio doors at first floor level (his bedroom) which overlook our garden and that of our neighbours. He got permission for this on the basis that the flat roof outside was not to be used as a balcony. TO prevent this, there was a clause in his PP which said he needed to install a balustrade.

He applied for PP again to have the clause about the balustrade removed. The original decision was upheld.

The balustrade has never been installed. We have always assumed it will be installed in due course, however with the warm weather he has opened the patio doors and they open outwards 90 degrees, thus precluding installation of a balustrade. He clearly has no intention of installing one.

We have thought about this and aren't hugely concerned. The principle ****es us off, but in practice the balcony is quite small and I doubt they have any intention of sitting out on it for long periods.

We were going to let this lie but tonight he is installing a huge play structure with raised platform in the back garden. I asked him over the fence if he has planning permission and he says he doesn't need it because the structure is less than 4 metres high. I would say it's easily 3.5-4 metres high and has a raised platform like a lookout which is about 1 metre above the ground.

It's about 1.5 - 2 metres away from our boundary at my estimation - could be wrong, could be over 2 metres away (just)

I think he's wrong about the planning permission.

We were planning to cut down our old hedges and replace the fence. The fence is actually his but it's completely dilapidated and has fallen over behind our bushes. He has something of a reputation locally for boundary disputes and we are keen to replace the fence to establish this boundary once and for all. I am now concerned that we will be unable to remove the bushes as planned as this will leave our house/garden totally exposed to this platform.

We have a 5 metre bi-fold door across the back of our house and this platform looks directly at our dining table.

He has one child aged 3. I have no problem with a 3 year old looking into my house/garden (have a 3 year old myself) but one day that 3 year old will be a 10 year old (with his mates) and I'd prefer we had some privacy for that.

I would not object to the structure if the fence was higher or if he planted some fast growing conifers or blocked the back of the platform off with wood so you couldn't see into our house.

What would you do?
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There is little you can do about the lack of a balustrade, bizarrely there is often no obligation for a homeowner to finish the works that were successfully applied for. So your council may peruse it although I cannot see how.

With regards to the play frame the rules are fairly clear:

Talk to your council they should be interested eg

Frankly if you have the room I'd just stick some leylandii in.
The council can enforce if the neighbour is using the roof for something specifically prevented by the PP

Contact the council and tell them this

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