Neighbours’ views count for nothing

From: Mary Bray

Sheffield S11

OUR house is in the Nether Edge Conservation Area.

The owners of a house behind us applied for planning permission to extend their small semi-detached house, one of a few pairs built the same time along the road.

The extension plans were huge, more than doubling the size of the house and reducing the small plot surrounding garden to a tiny amount.

The neighbours on either side, to the back and front all objected for various reasons but mostly to the excessive size of the extension over and above the original footprint, to the fact that the changed building would be out of character in relation to the original building and to the reduction of privacy and consequent reduction in value of neighbouring houses.

However planning permission was granted, albeit with very minor conditions.

This did not satisfy the owners who again submitted a planning application almost identical to the first application. This time all the neighbours to front, back and sides objected as well as the Nether Edge Neighbourhood Group - and again the council all but ignored the objections and granted permission with minor conditions. (The argument being that there were no grounds for objections!)

This did not satisfy the owners and they resubmitted a planning application with negligible changes to the last two.

The neighbours objected and the council have yet again granted permission - all the objections by neighbours and the local neighbourhood group have gone unheeded.

What is the point of the planning department asking for neighbour views for planning proposals?

I recognise that the planning department have to be ‘fair’ and decide on granting permission according to regulations but if this the case why ask neighbours at all? In this case the neighbours views have been disregarded.

I wonder can the council be held responsible for loss of value to properties when ridiculous extensions have been built with planning permission?