My extension / planning problems. Help with objection

balidey

Distinguished Member
I have recently submitted a planning application for an extension above my garage. I originally consulted two architects, 4 builders and none of them suggested we would get any problems receiving planning approval.
We decided on an architect, plans drawn up, paid for, submitted and fees paid.
Before all this we spoke to our neighbours either side who were fine with it.
Reason we need to extend is we have 3 kids sharing 2 bedrooms, we love the area, want to stay, and can't afford to move out, but we can just about afford to extend and give our kids their own rooms.

There was a date for objections to be posted. This has been and gone.
Now 6 days after that date on the council website there is an objection letter from the person in the house behind ours. We didn't speak to them, infact I have never seen them before, my wife has seen them once or twice in 8 years.
Their objections are that they will not get as much light in their kitchen.
I have had several people tell me that light is not a given right and that this will be dismissed by the council. But I am worried that as its been raised then they might reject our application.
Another objection is that it will set a precedent and the house will not be in keeping with the rest of the houses in the row.
Well our neighbours all have 4 bed houses, ours is a 3 bed. Infact this will make ours MORE in keeping, and all out neighbours are couples, no kids, so they are very unlikely to ever extend their houses further.
They also objected that we already have a large conservatory (built at time of house being built) and a large shed that also 'blocks light out of their kitchen'. But surely these have no bearing on the proposed extension.

So, after all this, it sounds like they are dead against it as we are already depriving them of light.

Now, lets put some facts down, their property is to the SOUTH of ours, so we are actually in their shadow, and their massive trees deprive us of light most of the day.
We have to extend, we can't afford to move to a bigger house.

Also their letter of objection was received AFTER the date they should have been received. So should it have been dismissed entirely?

So here is the point of this post (apart from having a good rant), do we write to the council with replies to all these points?

Do we speak to our neighbours and try and appease them (no idea how) and ask them to retract their complaint?

Do we wait for a decision? Which could be a NO, if so we will have to pay for an appeal and perhaps change the plans, which I can't afford to do.

or wait for the decision and hope its a yes?

Anyone been in this situation before and can offer advise?
Thanks in advance.
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
Just to add, yes I have read all the council information but there is nothing to help in this situation.
 

961

Well-known Member
It can often be worthwhile talking to the planning officer that is dealing with your application and politely seeking his advice

That way, nothing will appear in writing in the application files and he may well be able to help you decide if the objection is likely to be sustained or dismissed although he will not of course give more than general advice based on his experience and knowledge

Remember many applications are decided by the planning officer and do not go to the council except for rubber stamping. Also, councils are anxious to up their council tax income and extensions eventually lead to larger council income

If the neighbours on either side did not object it may well be that an objection from those beyond the rear boundary may not carry much weight, especially if they have trees at the bottom of their garden
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
If it was not submitted in time their objection will not be considered, surely? Unless they can maybe demonstrate they were not informed properly.
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
Thanks, I'll try the council on Monday.
But just wondered if anyone had experience of dealing with planning and especially objections and how its best to handle them, if at all
 

its_all_Greek

Distinguished Member
you could always try bribery or blackmailing your planning officer :D

personally i have no experience with planning applications but you could try asking some of the members who have threads in the "Members Gallery" in the Home cinema section, several of them have extended properties and had to deal with planning applications.

GBJB if i remember rightly had to deal with objections on his extension so he may be worth a PM or a question in his thread.
 

Calpolaholic

Novice Member
My experience of this is that Planners often adopt the line of least resistance. We had a similar situation with our extension a number of years ago. Originally the planner came out to look at our house and said he thought it was fine, therefore went to speak to the objecting neighbour. I was left with the impression that it would get approved then 3 weeks later I get a letter saying it was rejected. I went bloody mad!! Phoned the planner and he said that his boss had rejected it because the neighbour kicked up a real fuss.

I appealed and put a counter to all the weak reasons given. I also cited a lot of precedents in our estate. Basically I walked round and took pics of people who had done similar things. I won the appeal and built the damn thing before anything else could happen. same neighbour actually tried to take us to court but it all died away when the extension was done.

It does't sound to me as if they have a good case to effect your application but you never know with planner. Get all your facts but I wouldn't bother talking to the neighbour as people have obviously made their mind up that they want to be arse**les. Good luck buddy and don't let them push you around.
 

961

Well-known Member
Thanks, I'll try the council on Monday.
But just wondered if anyone had experience of dealing with planning and especially objections and how its best to handle them, if at all

Yes, been there, done that

Approach this quietly, resist the temptation to contact the objector, most times that will only inflame the situation. If it was ever advisable to approach the objector (much later down this road) I suggest it should not be done by you, but probably by the architect at the planning office. But I don't think this will come to that

Obviously best to find out if the basic application is ok with the planning officer. He'll tell you if there is a minor alteration to the application that will make all the difference. But keep these discussions verbal and polite. If you start writing letters they'll end up on the council planning web site and files for all to see, including the objector. I'd be inclined to contact the planning officer first by phone, explain your concerns, ask him to dig the file out to give him time to look at it and consider the objection and then either ring you back or make an appointment for you to call to see him if the planning office is within reasonable travel distance

Remember, these days the planning officer is under some pressure to approve rather than decline unless there is a serious reason to do so. And if your builders and architects have said there shouldn't be a planning problem then they may well be on the button. After all, what have they to gain by allowing their proposals and estimates to end up with a refusal?

Some folk like objecting for the sake of it. They may be concerned about the disturbance and noise while the actual construction is going on. Objections from either side may be one thing, over the back, I suggest, is not a reason to panic

Some guys would object to a jam butty mine in the Lake District :hiya:
 

jenam93

Well-known Member
My next door neighbour, joined via terrace, objected to my plans on the basis of affecting his light as well as the character, design, overall bulk of the extension, oh and parking arrangements.

However the plans were granted Permission despite those objections so all is still not lost for you.
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the replies. I'll keep thread updated as and when.
 

Ayub

Distinguished Member
Anybody ( public) can write in or log onto the council website and place a comment . This will go on until your application has been decided. There is a 3week window which is the “public consultation“ period. This gives anyone who wants to derail your application an opportunity. After the period comments are still accepted ( they must accept them) however they are not taken in consideration. Your application will be decided within the local council time frame around 6- 8weeks.

You need 2 of the three letters they normally send out for example i live on a terrace house. I have a house to the north, east and west of me.
I had an objection and it was from the West both North and east gave support. It was granted.

DO NOT talk to the person involved or look bothered. From your text looks like you have a little issue with space and i would write a letter in via the online planning portal to substantiate your application and clear your position. By giving your family a better quality of life and giving your children some more room to develop and enjoy their childhood.

Make as many templates as you can and make sure you send them off to the planning office ( takke them down yourself) they will scan them and upload for the planning offers viewing. Get this done a.s.a.p and your on a winner. If you want the whole process explained, pm me your contact number and i will ring you :)

What i would do: Simply create a supporting letter template along the lines of :

Dear MR ABC Planning officer
Ref: planning application number : arc/1234

I am aware Mr B would like to build a extension and as he has explained it would offer a better quality of life for his family and most impotently his children. I see no reason why his application should not be granted if it will help and offer a better quality of life to his children.

I support his application and see no reason why it should not be granted.

Kind regards,

Mr SMITH ( directly affected) or if they live local (neighbours)

Resident of
123 road
Bradford



Dont provoke them and answer anything they say, leave it to the planning officer. You dont want a messy application and it going to the plannng commitiee and simply wasting your time when its almost 1/3 into winter
 
Last edited:

fizzi

Active Member
If your extension comes under Permitted Development then as I understand it there is nothing anyone can do about it.

PD allows all sorts of stuff that may annoy the neighbours - but they have no rights.

If your plans have been drawn up by an architect they should be able to tell you if it comes under PD.
 

Ayub

Distinguished Member

DIYlady

Distinguished Member
Don't think it can be classed as permitted development because it is "above the garage", but wouldn't worry too much about a weak objection. The light issue is probably irrelevant. Street scene is more relevant and photos may help with this
 

booyaka

Moderator
Get your architect to contact the planning office and discuss it with them. That's what you've paid him to do - he will know more about the in's and outs' etc and if he is a decent architect should have a good/reasonable knowledge of the local planning laws and will hopefully have dealt with the planners before.

I can't imagine a "wooly" complaint about lack of light, sent in 6 days after the deadline will affect your application.

When we previously applied to planning for a similar "above garage" extension, I got 3 objections out of 6 from the people asked. My architect shot all of them down in about 10 mins discussion with the local planning officer. Application passed with no problems.
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
Have spoken briefly to architect.
He had not seen the letter, but after me reading it out he has said that it should have no bearing on decision. Nothing in it really has any relevance to the plans.
My wife also spoke to council (possibly the planning officer, not sure) and despite not telling her who was ringing, just mentioned address, and the council lady said that the objecting couple were given an extension to our date because they were on holiday and the letter would not have got to them in time.
Well, there you go, if you want to object to planning in Lincolnshire, just give them a call and they'll happily ignore cut off dates.

Will also update as and when we get further developments.
 

TheViking

Standard Member
Perhaps you should have used a planning consultant? Although a architect might have some knowledge of the planning system, it will pale in comparison to a qualified planner.
 

Calpolaholic

Novice Member
Perhaps you should have used a planning consultant? Although a architect might have some knowledge of the planning system, it will pale in comparison to a qualified planner.

You don't need much expertise for domestic extensions like this. Provided you aren't in a conservation area it should be fairly straight forward. the mistake I made was to think that the process would be rational and follow due process when actually it was more like the planning officer do what they can to get a quiet life.

There are a load of guidelines available on the web as to what reasons should be applied when appraising an application. A planning consultant would only be another person getting a fee. I agree that the architect should be sufficient in this case. Sadly our's wasn't that much help so I ended up doing it myself.

A useful URL below

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/appeals/planninginspectorate/
 
Last edited:

961

Well-known Member
just mentioned address, and the council lady said that the objecting couple were given an extension to our date because they were on holiday and the letter would not have got to them in time.

This is fairly standard practice
 

balidey

Distinguished Member
Update.
Just checked online and looks like our planning is about to get approval. Letter from the planning manager has been posted and basically states that of all the points that were objected on, none of them are valid reasons for a refusal.
Our architect rang us this evening to say he had good news, but we had already seen the letter online.
So now my wife is very happy, she was starting to get upset about it and worried that it would ruin Christmas (I did say there's still time for me to do that).
So thanks for all the comments above.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
Make sure that before you go ahead with the build that you DO NOT use the Local Authority building inspectors, try to get an independent.
 

961

Well-known Member
Update.
Letter from the planning manager has been posted and basically states that of all the points that were objected on, none of them are valid reasons for a refusal.

So now my wife is very happy, she was starting to get upset about it and worried that it would ruin Christmas

I did say there's still time for me to do that.

Great news

As for what you get up to....:arty:
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Trinnov Room Optimiser: A full explanation of Trinnov and its room optimiser technology
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Tidal streaming service acquired by Twitter/Square's Jack Dorsey
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Netflix adds support for reduced theatrical release window
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Paradigm launches Founder speaker series
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 3rd March 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Music revenue in U.S. sees vinyl sales overtake CD
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom