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Complaints Process against local Council - Planning breaches


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We and our neighbours have constantly alerted the Council regarding breaches of Planning Permission of a development in a Conservation Area, next door to our Grade II Listed house. 

 

This was right at the start of the build  - nearly 1 year ago, when it became obvious that the houses were going to be far higher (2m) than their granted planning permission and overlooking windows less than their guided minimum distances.  Windows had not been either moved (could have very easily) or made of obscured glass, as they look directly into our properties and gardens. We have all been completely ignored

 

We have today, completed the Councils complaints procedures and the end result is that they accept that the breaches have occurred but that it is now too late for them to enforce any changes...mainly  I believe, because of the costs involved. 

 

I presume the Developers would obviously expect the Council (who have failed to pick up these breaches when inspecting the build (even though they had been told of them repeatedly), would also look to them to pay for any changes to the now nearly completed houses. 

 

So it seems its a case of just whoops we will try and do better in the future and we have learned from this process. 

This just isn't good enough as our homes and gardens have visual intrusion and loss of privacy - for ever. 

 

We will continue our complaints to the Ombudsman but have been led to believe that even their powers are limited to giving them a smack on the hand and minimal compensation.  We are facing spending thousands on trying to screen our properties by planting mature trees and raising roofs of outbuildings to re-gain our privacy. 

We don't have the finances to try and initiate an expensive legal case and not sure if this is even an option? 

 

Other Councils in the land seem to be far more bullish when dealing with Developers who ignore the restrictions of their Permissions...ours doesn't care. 

Existing, established trees (which were in the Conservation Area and did not impede the development in any way were also marked to remain in the original plans.....) have been cut down.  When questioned we were told that permission had been discharged retrospectively without our knowledge or permission. 

 

I have attached the final response below...........

..please can anyone help us with this fight? 

 

I cannot believe that they are allowed to be this shambolic and apathetic and not to be held accountable or have insurances that will help us to ameliorate their mistakes. 

We run a business that just waters plants in buildings and we have to have £10 million of insurance to operate....do Councils have anything similar in place? 

 

My neighbours and I would really appreciate some help with this. 

 

 

Response to stage 2 complaint - final (RE).pdf

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