Friday, 11 July 2014

Sometimes you've got to laugh!

4 years ago the people who live in the house to the rear of mine decided to build a new garage, demolish the old one and build an extension in its place.

So far so good, and I waited for the man of the house to talk it through with me and get me on his side. Unfortunately he decided not to do that and being a surveyor, or something of that ilk, went ahead with an incredibly well done plan and put in his application. 
It was only then that I found out that the garage was 3 feet from my fence and I would now look out at it from my sitting room panarama window. Previously I had a lovely view over trees and because the garage was right next to their neighbour's property, they had an equal surprise.

No amount of talking would change his mind, or elicit any sympathy. Even the local council came round and agreed it would be a complete eyesore, but they also pointed out that providing he complied with all building regs it would go through. 
Trees were the only problem. He wanted to cut down one of two trees in order to put in the foubdations, but was told he couldn't and would have to put in 6 piles and "float" the garage.

I and his next door neighbour decided not to oppose it and at the planning meeting gave our blessing. After the meeting he refused to shake my hand when I wished him well, "because I had said nasty things about him.

The garage was built with lots of noise, dust, fires, lorries driving over adjacent lawns, and vibration from the pile driving, but it did get built and the tree remained.

Two years ago they and I agreed we wanted a sycamore in their garden cut down. It was right on the dividing line between our propertiesw, but in their garden. It overhangs my garden mostly, sheds branches and completely shades my lawn and has pretty well killed it. 

They had a tree surgeon doing work on a laurel and he said he could cut it down and would also put in the application on their behalf.... being a professional.

Unfortunately he couldn't spell, or do joined up handwriting. He used a small lined sheet from a spiral notebook to write the application which started "Hi" with no name and gave no reason for wanting it cut down except it was shady. Not really good.

The council rejected the application on the grounds that:
1. The reasons given were unsatisfactory, bordering on ridiculous.
2. The application was barely legible 
3. There were 3 trees in their garden and they hadn't actually said which tree they wanted felled.
Return to sender!

Earlier this year I asked if they were putting in a new, revised application to have the tree felled and they agreed they would. It went in 2 weeks ago and this week I looked at the application on line. The summary was fine "Application to fell one sycamore tree", unfortunately in the summary the reason was again given as "shady". Not a goos start. I then looked at the accompanying document and after the second page I realsied I was looking at the original application to have one tree felled because they wanted to build a garage (that was completed 4 years earlier!). Not only that, of course, it was for a pine tree!

I'm now about to write my online backing for the application and wondering what to write. Do I just say "I back it" when I'm no longer sure what I'm backing? Do I in essence write the application for them, which will certainly confuse the planning committee? Put in my own application from scratch? Do I go out one night with a chainsaw? Darned if I know!

I suspect it'll be rejected, which makes me wonder how much they wanted it at all in the first place.

He still won't shake my hand!

Blog on, Dudes!


  1. Mad. I'd get a TPO on it just to spite him. We did this when next door before next door as is now wanted to sell off garden to a developer. The walnut tree was on the edge of what would be the foundation trench of the new building. Now it has a tpo, and apart from having to apply for permission to prune, we have a lovely tree.

    1. I agree, Carol. The whole thing has gone full circle with all the wrong documentation in the wrong order!
      It's the TPO we want removed so the darn thing can be felled. Maybe I can sort out two problems at the same time and go out with a chainsaw on night and (by accident) it could go right through their new garage. Problem solved!

    2. Sorry you've had all these hassles, Richard! Council/planning things and 'neighbour' things are both minefields!

    3. The council doesn't seem to be a problem. It's the idiot who put in a supporting document written in 2009 for taking down a tree so he can build a garage (which of course has now been built). They won't phone him and suggest he puts more relevant documentation in to them, they'll just reject the application and I'll be stuck with his tree dropping branches into my garden andcompletely shading my lawn!

  2. Neighbours and trees! We've got them, too, but yours takes the proverbial biscuit. I think I'd have to write an application in verse. ;-)