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    • In the autumn of 2020, I decided to change energy supplier from British Gas to EDF. This went through with no apparent problem but after approximately two weeks, I received a letter from EDF saying "Sorry you're leaving us". I contacted EDF to say that I was not leaving and was told not to worry about it, that they would resolve it and to carry on with monthly payments to EDF.    Approximately 2 weeks later, I received a text message from EDF to say, "Sorry you're leaving us". I contacted EDF again to say I was not leaving and was again told not to worry and that they would sort it out. Two weeks later I had a third message, "Sorry you're leaving us...". I contacted EDF again, but this time raised a complaint because it was becoming stressful and annoying. I asked them to explain why this kept happening. After some investigation by EDF, I was told that Scottish Power was trying to "erroneously take over" my gas supply. I confirmed that I wanted to remain with EDF and did not want to move to Scottish Power. I was advised to forward any bill sent by Scottish Power to EDF so that they could deal with it, and not pay it. However, I have never received any bill from Scottish Power until July 2022.   I was then contacted again by EDF to say that Scottish Power was trying to take over my supply because my gas meter was registered at my neighbour's address, on the energy suppliers' national database. I requested that EDF change the details for me so that I could remain an EDF customer but was told that only the existing supplier could change the details and that I would have to contact Scottish Power and request that they change the details. I reminded EDF that I had never asked Scottish Power to supply me and that as my current provider, EDF should take on this responsibility, but I was told on a number of occasions that EDF could not do this and that I would have to contact Scottish Power myself.   I have since learned that I should never have been told this. Ofgem states that if a supplier tries to erroneously transfer a supply, the two suppliers involved should communicate with each other to resolve the problem as soon as possible, and not involve the consumer. However, this is where the real problems started. I contacted Scottish Power at least 20 times over the course of 2 months, by email, online chat and telephone and spent a considerable amount of time trying to resolve this issue. The main problem was that Scottish Power refused to discuss it with me because "I did not have an account with Scottish Power". I explained on numerous occasions that I did not want an account with Scottish Power and that I just wanted them to change the location of my gas meter on the national database, but they persistently refused. Scottish Power was generally very poor at contacting me, I was doing most of the running. My neighbour, who is supplied by Scottish Power and has been for many years, said that this has been an issue in the past but Scottish Power has never resolved it. He said that when I asked EDF to take the supply back from Scottish Power, his supply was also erroneously transferred to EDF against his wishes, causing even more problems. During this occasion, Scottish Power compensated my neighbour but still refused to assist me.   I have evidence of some of the correspondence between me and Scottish Power but not all because much was over the phone and on online chat. Each time I contacted Scottish Power a new member of staff dealt with it and so they had to record the same notes each time, considerably lengthening the process. I asked if Scottish Power could allocate someone to own the complaint but because I did not have an account with Scottish Power, this was not an option. After numerous emails to Scottish Power from my neighbour, who was trying to assist with the situation - sending his meter details, my meter details and asking that the database be updated with my address - he was asked to send photos of my meter to Scottish Power. I had already been asked this by Scottish Power and had duly sent them but received no response. My neighbour then forwarded the photos by his email to Scottish Power and they replied asking him to ask me to re-send the photos directly, which I did for a second time. This was the last correspondence I had with Scottish Power about the matter. They did not contact me again.   EDF contacted me to say that they had concluded the matter from their end and requested that they close the complaint, to which I agreed. A meter reader visited sometime after to read both meters and I (naively) assured myself that the details had been changed and that EDF had resumed supply. My bill increased, and my meters were then routinely read by a visiting meter reader every quarter. My last correspondence with Scottish Power was on 9th November 2020, when I emailed the photos of my meter for the second time.   Twenty months later, towards the end of July 2022, I was on holiday with my family. I came home on 13th August to find 6 letters on the doormat from Scottish Power demanding £2134.89 for gas supply. They are addressed to "The Occupier" so they have obviously not referred to my previous correspondence or attempted to ever resolve the initial request to change my details. This is contrary to recommendations made by Ofgem's "Erroneous Transfers" paper produced in 2016. One of the letters even says, "Welcome to your new home" as though they have no knowledge of the correspondence 2 years ago. I have received another bill from Scottish Power today demanding payment and threatening referral to a debt collection agency if it is not paid. The above Ofgem paper states that erroneous takeovers should be dealt with by the two companies concerned and not by the consumer at any stage. But in my case, it has been me doing all the running, all the phoning, emailing, talking online, etc. Neither supplier has really done that much and I believe that EDF should never have told me that I should try and resolve this with Scottish Power; and when I contacted Scottish Power, they should also have taken ownership of the problem jointly with EDF and resolved it directly with EDF.   I have taken legal advice and been advised that as this is a dispute between two energy suppliers rather than between myself and a supplier, it is more appropriate for me to contact both suppliers, summarise past actions undertaken by all parties, and request that the supply be transferred back to my original supplier. This sounds hunky dory but doesn't actually help. Two questions arise in my mind... 1. Do i have to pay the bill at all given that it is addressed to "The occupier"?  2. Should I provide my name in my complaint (not yet sent) or simply refer to myself as "The Occupier"? 2. I know I can refer to back-billing guidance but my instinct tells me I shouldn't have to pay any of this bill because the supply was taken over without my consent, I tried numerous times to resolve it to no effect, and was led to believe that I was then paying for the gas due to the actions of both companies. Does anybody think I have a case here and any suggestions about how to pursue it?   Many thanks if you have managed to read this far. Even more thanks if you have any advice :-)  
    • several other threads here too they will give up  just retail loss scammers, nothing ever goes back to the retailers anyway straight in their pocket straight down the pub!!   just like DCA's.   dont forget your cars v5c!! too   you MUST write to anyone one your credit file or banks etc, esp if you have debts that dont show that you might have last used/paid within say 7 yrs esle you'll get backdoor CCJ's.
    • Our produce is likely to be smaller, odd-looking, or even leathery after the hot, dry weather.View the full article
    • Yeah haha I had to do my drivers license literally last week, had completely forgot. Thanks DX,  that's great if they are powerless, but will they ever stop sending letters? I've gotten two just in the last month.
    • stunning aurora going on 1st of the season ...red alert pix from as far south as nth london!   see the glendale aurora APP or Facebook.   ray to 25deg here in far nth scotland   dx  
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Design and Access statements.


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Hello I am new here, and trying to work out how to go about rebuilding a garden wall that was blown down last winter.

 

Finally managed to get a straight answer from my local city council about what plans they need, but a design and access statement? Who from? I have read the guidelines but they seem rather excessive as they refer to developments and changes to buildings which this is not.

 

 

Yes, we live in a conservation area, the house is listed, but the wall is not. So we do not need listed building planning for it, or so we are told by the city council, having been previously told that we do!!

 

We started this rigamarole months ago, when, having got a builder in to give us an estimate, we realised that we would have to build the wall slightly differently because it has a tree with a TPO in our garden, next to the wall, so the wall will have to make room for it. We had an arboriculturalists report done on the tree, which gave precise descriptions of what would be needed for the tree and the wall. At this point the owner of the house next door (it is let to someone else, she does not live there) then decided to go for permission to cut the tree down. After a frustrating and wasted three months, the tree still stands.

 

So...tearing our hair out, we are now facing a lot more cost - we think, if we do have to go the route of a design and access statement. We cannot get any sense out of the City council planning people, they just refer us to the guidelines on line, which tell us little that is helpful about who does these statements, and if it is really necessary anyway for a replacement garden wall!!!

 

We put in a claim to have the wall rebuilt, back at the beginning of the year, and got some of the money from the insurers, but had to stop the process because of all the fuss about the tree, and now we are not sure if we can go ahead, or if it will cost us even more.

 

Please...anyone? Any help very gratefully accepted.

 

:madgrin:

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Is the tree on your property? If it has a TPO then the most you will get is to crown lift or trim some branches IMO.

how is the neighbour involved? is it a party wall in the garden?

If you do not need planning? then I do not see how they can ask for design and access statement? as it usually goes with a planning application.

You need to go and see the Planning dept and have a pre-application assessment; they will tell you what you need to do. ( take photos of wall and tree ).

So if you do need planning as you are altering the wall ( does it front on roadway? )you will need to submit plans of the proposed wall, height, details of construction and materials to be used etc.

If you were rebuilding like for like then no planning would be required.

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Thanks for the full response. Yes the tree is on our property, and we know it has a tpo, that is why we got the arboriculturalists report on it. Legally bound.

 

Our closest neighbour and we share a driveway which leads onto a road. To be clear, we live on the corner of two roads. Our house used to have an orchard which stretched away behind the house. The previous owner sold it to a developer and we have a small garden and a shared drive onto the road to our right.

 

To our left our wall stretches along from the end of our garage to the beginning of the wall beside our closest neighbour who shares our drive. The tree is on our side of the wall, about 1\4 of the way along. I cannot post a link to explain this as a picture as I haven't posted here enough yet.

 

So, unless we are willing to rebuild the wall without changes, which we cannot do, other than by leaving a gap where the tree is, we have to have a D & A statement? Even that is an alteration.

 

We have already had a long telephone consultation months ago, when the young lady (who has now left!) guided us through the forms to complete, which we did, on her instructions. May be we missed out on the D & A by mistake.

 

Frankly we are very unimpressed with the City Council, they are known to be very difficult to deal with. The TP Officer never bothered to come to look at the tree when the application was put in to fell it, by our neighbour. We waited three months for a response from him, when we wrote to ask about the tree and the wall, way back at the beginning of the year, and the conservation officer turned up without making an appointment and was pretty uncompromising.

 

So my original question remains - how do we get a D & A statement done? Who does it? Neither my husband nor I have the time, energy or ability to complete what is required, and frankly the stress of the last six months is beginning to tell on my blood pressure and his ill-health (he has copd).

 

In hope and with thanks for the help so far.

Edited by stephn-s
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as said. the DAS will be pretty basic, but if you feel you cannot do it yourself, you can employ a Planning Consultant, or a local Architect to do it for you.

What did the conservation officer actually say? and did he confirm anything in writing.

Have you made a Planning Application yet? and got a number and any response? you can get approval subject to conditions.

If not then again suggest you go for a pre-app consultation. ( minimal cost ) but you do get good advice, but they do caveat that with they are not bound by the advice when you actually make the App.

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as said. the DAS will be pretty basic, but if you feel you cannot do it yourself, you can employ a Planning Consultant, or a local Architect to do it for you.

What did the conservation officer actually say? and did he confirm anything in writing.


Have you made a Planning Application yet? and got a number and any response? you can get approval subject to conditions.


If not then again suggest you go for a pre-app consultation. ( minimal cost ) but you do get good advice, but they do caveat that with they are not bound by the advice when you actually make the App.


 




Yes, we have made two applications, one listed building consent and one ordinary planning. We received an email telling us that we don't need listed building consent, as the wall was not listed. This is confusing because when the conservation officer visited (at the request of the neighbour during the tree fiasco) she said that we must rebuild the wall using bricks and mortar identical to the original. This will escalate the cost. Now we dont need listed building consent, so are we free to do as we wish? we have had no email from the conservation officer at all, during this recent saga. Is there a time limit on any of this? Are we under pressure to get it done or can we relax and take the whole thing slowly? Thanks for your continuing help much appreciated in this crazy world of planning.

Steph
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It may not be listed, but as in a Conservation Area, any change will require Planning Approval.

What you need to do is as the Conservation Officer has told you, and this would have been attached to any conditions on any approval you may get.

They are very strict!

Is the wall covered by any insurance ( has it collapsed or just become unstable ?) Is it significantly high? retaining any soil/earth? you may need structural advice!

Has you Planning Application been acknowledged and have a reference number?

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It may not be listed, but as in a Conservation Area, any change will require Planning Approval.

What you need to do is as the Conservation Officer has told you, and this would have been attached to any conditions on any approval you may get.


They are very strict!


Is the wall covered by any insurance ( has it collapsed or just become unstable ?) Is it significantly high? retaining any soil/earth? you may need structural advice!


Has you Planning Application been acknowledged and have a reference number?


 

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The wall collapsed towards the neighbours side in the strong winds last year. The soil level on our side is higher around the tree than on the neighbours side, they did put in a path a while ago, which lowered the soil level on their side at the part next to the tree. It was quite high, but now we have to make space for the tree roots, that will have to change it. Yes we do have a planning ref no. Thanks for the continuing advice, it helps to see more clearly.

 

Steph

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Maybe photos would help? Without knowledge of the height, and thickness/construction of the wall, it will be difficult to be comment accurately.

If it is a high wall, and not too thick then the wind would be a consideration if in an exposed location.

 

 

How much did they lower it on their side? and what is the difference in levels? If they lowered to near the foundation level that would a reason for the collapse.

It could be that in lowering the level on their side, this de-stabilised the wall, and their actions caused the collapse. so you may have a claim against them?

 

 

Is it a party wall? are you sure you own it and are responsible for it.

Is it covered by any insurance? the insurance co. may well inspect and appoint an engineer or surveyor to deal with it.

 

 

I think it would be wise to consult a structural engineer before embarking the rebuild, the adjacent tree and existing roots and future growth would have to be taken into account and they could also deal with the planning issues.

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