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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Our Council officers have put a scheme together where a staggered

Customer Question

Our Council officers have put a scheme together where a staggered cross roads is to be converted into a double spot roundabout system. While this seems sensible if affects our residence considerably.
Our house is on the S left corner of the minor road going N to the juction with the main road going E to W. Currently pedestrians pass along the main road crossing the junction without any effect on us; only pedestrians turning right down out road pass our house.
Our house is dug into the ground with the footpath being 1.2m above the floor level of or kitchen and living room; our external window sills are 2-3 inches above the pavement. The pavement buts up to the house. As a result we are affected by footfalls vibrating through the ground, voices, trolies etc all at heard within.
The changes requiring a turning circle at the top of our road (around the spot roundabout, dictates that pedestrians will be forced to bear right into our road, down to our windows. This will increase traffic threefold and as disabled paving is to be installed, shopping trollies, buggies etc will have an additional vibrating effect.
Representation verbally has been made but ignored - we seek the spot near to us to be moved closer to the other spot roundabout (located away from us) and the footpath adjusted to take people 2 m away from our wall.
What are our legal rights in this matter?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Why have you not put anything in writing to the local authority? They will often ignore anything verbal as not being important.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They have employed a sub contractor to do this work and I tried to speak verbally with him. He only works odd days a week and on the day (Wed) I rang back, when he was supposed to be there, couldn't contact him. A letter was delivered yesterday reiterating the original design and effectively ignoring our comments.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

If this is really important to you, which seems highly likely, do not try to deal with it on the telephone.

Put your concerns in writing to the local authority highways department or whoever it is that is doing the work or organises the work and if in doubt, write to as many people as possible.

The letter is always better coming from a solicitor although there is no reason why you cannot write yourself.

You cannot object to this simply because you do not like it, it has to be on the grounds of the severe impact on your property and your privacy. If there is an element of perceived danger because your house is below the road, so much the better.

There are two more things you can do.

You can threaten an application to court for judicial review of the decision to put the scheming as it is on the basis that the decision is irrational, illegal or they have not followed the correct procedure.

Judicial review can be quite expensive and you need to risk about £10,000 if you lose.

Please remember that even if you are successful in the application for judicial review, it will not change the Council's decision but it will force them to have a look at the decision again to see whether it is the right one.

You may not have that money to potentially lose or indeed risk in which case, your hands tend to be a little tied what you can do then and which is free is make a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman who will look at all the facts and look at your representations and decide whether the local authority have acted rightly and properly in going ahead with this in spite of your protestations.

Can I clarify anything for you?