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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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We have a developer who has put a street light directly

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Hi- we have a developer who has put a street light directly outside our lounge room and outdoor patio. The light has not been commissioned as yet due to our complaint ongoing with both the developer and the Surrey County Council. They want us to pay for a re-assessment of lighting design because the planning permission they are working from was granted in 2005 and we do not think the light is necessary as it has not been needed for 11 years now all of a sudden when the developer wants to give the road back to the council and receive their funds they have just stuck it outside our place without consultation. Is there any legal assistance we can seek? Is there an ombudsman for street light consultation? Many thanks for your assistance. Kind regards ***** *****
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this Sue.Why have they put it outside your house please?Is this something the Council have done or someone else, as I see you have said a developer?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex, many thanks for your email. The developer is Rectory Homes, they built a housing development around the corner from us early 2000's and they had to change the road to do this. They installed all the current street lights except the one outside our home over 11 years ago, and because the developer wants the council to adopt the road they realised they missed out putting up this street light so have just erected it outside our house without any consultation because the planning permission granted in 2005 said they should. Surrey County Council will not change the planning permission unless it is re-assessed by a lighting engineer under British standards and neither the developer or the Council will pay for this re-assessment. The light will be most intrusive - shinning right into our living room and onto the back patio where we sit. Our house is on a junction and there are already 3 street lights in our section of street, one directly across the opposite corner. This is very long winded I know and we just need to know if we have any legal grounds or whether we pay for the re-assessment and fingers crossed they will acknowledge it. Many thanks Sue
Thank you, ***** ***** sorry to hear of this for you. You could seek a re-assessment. If it comes back in your favour and the Council wont do anything you can consider a number of options:1) Complain to the Chief Officer - that department will investigate the complaint and report back to you2) Local Government Ombudsman - if you have done the above and the Office finds against you, then you can consider going to the Ombudsman. They offer a free, independent service and can consider your complaint at: Judicial Review - you have a limited time to get a High Court to consider what the Council has done and see whether it is legal and reasonable (rejecting your re-assessment). The Court can either agree with the decision or send it back to the Council to be decided again.But these are your options you can follow.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So really we must pay for the re-assessment ourselves at this stage? Then if it is not in our favour we can complain to the Chief Officer, is this right? Is the Chief Officer based at Surrey County Council? The Local Government Ombudsman - can they assist us now before we have the re-assessment? It is really unfair that we have to pay for a re-assessment which could cost us upto £1,000 but we definitely can not live under a flood light. The other issue is that there is no consistency in our whole village about street lighting - on some intersections they have no lights, others they have 1 light and others there are 3. In addition, the street lights in our street were changed over to the newer bright white lights in 2010 - why did they not do something about this 'missing' street light at that point. It is all so disjoined and we feel we are being bullied into this with no recourse at all or support from the Council. Would the LGO help us at this stage? Many thanks Sue
You can ask the Council to re-assess. If they refuse then you can take options 1-3 above.The Ombudsman wont help unless you have made a formal complaint to the Council first.LGO wouldnt help yet - you need to have a formal complaint and response from the Council first.Does that clarify?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Council has already advised us to pay for the re-assessment of the lighting design, they will not do it, neither will the developer. Does this mean they have refused so we can approach the Chief Officer at Surrey County Council to make a formal complaint first before we pay for a re-assessment ourselves? We thought our complaint to the planning department at Surrey Council was our formal complaint - is this not the case? Does our formal complaint have to go to the Chief Officer at Surrey Council? Once we have made a formal complaint & received a response, then we can approach the Ombudsman? I just need to understand the process to ensure we have it in the right order. Many thanks Sue
Yes you can approach the Chief Officer now in that case. You then get a response back. Your complaint needs to be Chief Officer Surrey Council yes.Only if they reject the complaint or its been more than 8 weeks can you go to the Ombudsman.Does that clarify?Alex
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Fantastic, many thanks this clarifies the situation. Appreciate your help and advice. Kind regards Sue
Thanks and good luck Sue.