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Neighbours building without planning

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by Beefpotnoodle, 13 May 2015.

  1. Beefpotnoodle

    Beefpotnoodle

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    Hi all, I'm after some guidance as the council have been less Tha helpful in the past.
    I live in a 1930 semi, solid brick. The neighbours bought their house (before we purchased and moved in) as a 4 bed. The garage and utility had been illegally converted with an additional 4x4 hideous extension at the back. The council confirmed there was never planning (it wouldn't pass) of building control consultation. Also chimney breasts removed etc etc.
    New neighbours are frankly idiots and have hired the cheapest tradesmen possible to do piece meal additions. This all happened over 4 years ago :'(
    The neighbours have added an oratory/conservatory (using turbo breeze block on the outside!) this is the flavour of the works being carried out.
    The neighbours have moved in an the noise is really bad. I've found out through a hole in the loft wall they have extended into the loft. Further investigation, the other side neighbours have been told its only storage space with a dedicated stair case. There are three couples and about 6 children in the house, so I think the loft is now bedroom number 5!
    I've seen they have loft windows installed on all sides I the roof, and lights on and off during the evenings, implying they are living in it.
    Should this have planning? Should the council investigate, and do I have to be named as the informant when the evidence of occupation is clear from the road?
    I'm a competent diy'er and can see their builders have been cowboys. I will be moving and don't want these idiots next door to destroy the value of my investment. Any advice will be a great help, Beefy
     
  2. Nakajo

    Nakajo

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    If you are moving, I suggest you do nothing to put yourself in dispute with your neighbour.

    Loft extensions are (typically) PD, but there are limitations.

    In general, unless this work is directly impacting the long term enjoyment of your property, leave them to it.
     
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  3. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    Unless they have caused any damage to your property, other than speaking with your council and suggesting they investigate there's nowt you can do, other than getting on with your life. Rarely do loft conversions need planning permission. Building Control may raise an eyebrow if informed though.
     
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  4. Beefpotnoodle

    Beefpotnoodle

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    Thanks guys, I only wondered because we won't be in a position to move for about 2 or 3 years, the noise is a problem virtually around the clock. I was thinking the loft doesn't have any meaningful insulation and so the noise is travelling.
    I've already added extra db plaster board and insulated between rafters. This has limited some of the noise for one room, but its my expensive. With the 12 people living in there I would expect a lot of noise but don't think this is fair on my family of 3.
    They are blatantly disregarding all rules and laws, and I'm worried that their bodges will affect my house value
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Don't rely on the councils planners to do much. Birmingham and most adjacent ones don't really want to know unless it's a massive eyesore on the front or a house on green belt. Unlawful extensions are popping up everywhere - there is even a whole district where the council themselves have said that so many extensions contrary to planning policy have created their own precedent with the council reluctant to take any action on further cases.

    Building control are not much better and will only get involved with serious life safely issues.

    Your best bet might be environmental health at the council, especially if it's a multi occupancy.
     
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  6. tony1851

    tony1851

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    As above really, particularly regarding the Environmental Health dept.

    Some councils will take noise nuisance seriously, others less so. But remember if you do make a formal complaint to the council regarding this, then (a) your neighbours will know where it's come from and (b) when you do sell, it will be on record that they are noisy/anti-social.
     
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  7. Beefpotnoodle

    Beefpotnoodle

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    That's why I like this forum, saved me loads of time and effort banging my head against a council wall :D
    Thanks for all the input, I'm going to live with it for now and try to sell to like minded people in the future.
     
  8. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Complaints to the council can be anonymous or kept anonymous of you want contact but not to be named.
     
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  10. tony1851

    tony1851

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    That's quite true, and no-one is named, but from my own experience of a noisy neighbour, it doesn't quite work like that.

    Before doing anything formal, our council writes a standard letter to the neighbour advising them that 'there has been a complaint' and asking them 'to consider if they are being excessively noisy'. At that stage, the cat's out of the bag because the neighbours know who it is; before you know it, you're on Channel 4 or 5 or whatever it is.
     
  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Whenever I complain, I just say I'm tony1851. :cool:
     
  12. tony1851

    tony1851

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    Te-he.
     
  13. unclebob1

    unclebob1

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    maybe try reporting it as a hmo issue?
     
  14. Beefpotnoodle

    Beefpotnoodle

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    I've been in touch with planning and then bc (otherwise of the same desk!). Planning aren't interested, but bc would be. But anonymous complaints are simply kept on file and not investigated in Dudley. I'd have to formally complain for them to take action.
    I do have some previous history with making a formal complaint to the council with a previous neighbour. In that case the neighbour decided to level their land out, making his land a 1 metre pier above the surrounding land. Let me say that other than a phone call and a slight reduction in the level of their land to .8m (should be .3 at most) the case was closed.
    I would of thought that buildings were strictly enforced, as the tv implies!
     
  15. tony1851

    tony1851

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    The interfering, nosey, power-crazed busy-bodies who go by the name of Planning Officers enjoy making people's lives miserable and will go to any lengths to pursue someone over a principle.

    Building Inspectors, on the other hand, generally just want to draw their salary for the minimum amount of work and will often not get involved.
     
  16. mart6

    mart6

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    Think it depends on council.
    I used to spend more time at girlfriends so i took my two dogs over they were a bit unsettled first night, they barked a couple of times during night for 5 mins tops.
    Next morning i was sat in garden 10am, i am from the council we have had a complaint.
    Was gob smacked said its a pity your not that fast with everything else.

    Guy was quite nice not like my recent problems, said he would monitor things.

    Week later he pops down garden path said he had been about a few times
    and only dogs he had heard barking were both next door ,one each side i had to laugh even asked if i wanted to make a complaint.
    Best bit he let slip it was the one that made the complaint.

    Never did hear any more.
     
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