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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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My sons house is next to a new 127 house development for

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My son’s house is next to a new 127 house development for Barrett’s, the land to the side and rear of his property has been raised by over 6 foot and all Barrett’s have done is use baskets filled with stones to make a wall between the property and the new site. They started laying baskets at the level of my sons land, not deeper. I can see in the future the baskets will rust and the stones will collapse.
They intend to have a fence on top of the wall, this will be a total height over 12 feet alongside the front garden, obscuring the present view from the ling room by a third and preventing light into the living room. We want to challenge them and stop them doing this, do have a legal right to do so ?
Over all they have raised the water table and my son’s house being the lowest ground off the site is quite possibly going to be an outlet for surface water off the site.
Raising the ground level of the site was not obvious to us on the plans and no one come to see us, I think they have just gone ahead as they wished. I have raised a complaint to the council and they will arrange a meeting soon, but I want some kind of legal reputation to be there and know my rights.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What makes you think that the baskets will rust in this kind of wall which is an acceptable kind of structure called a Gabian?

Is there already are flooding problem?

Did they have planning permission for this?

How far has the development/building of the houses gone?

On what basis do you say that it will reduce the light by one third?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What makes you think that the baskets will rust in this kind of wall which is an acceptable kind of structure called a Gabian?


All metal eventually rusts through, except gold.


Is there already are flooding problem?


Not yet they have only in past few days finished laying the final layers of top soil.


Did they have planning permission for this?


This is an unknown, all I can witness is they made it up as they went along, because they told me they wanted to go even higher. Work on the site next to the house has been stopped due to my complaint, so I think they are on shaky ground regarding what they planed to do and have actually done. I need an expert to look at the planning side of things and tell me what has been going on. For instance have the necessary checks been carried out during the construction. And why has no one been to see about what's happening from the planning office.



How far has the development/building of the houses gone?


They are at the ground level they want to be with top soil added.



On what basis do you say that it will reduce the light by one third?



Can you imagine someone building a 12 feet fence from edge of your property out as far as the edge of your front garden. Let's put it this way if they built a house next door there's normally a 4 foot max wall between the properties. Put your flat hand up against the side of your face, all your see is hand on that side, all we will see is fence.



Jo we all know the government backs developers doing what ever they want, this is not a inner city development it's just greed jamming in as much as possible, but at our expense. There has to be some way of stopping them erecting a top fence on the new level of land at the front of the property.


If they are planning permission to use these Gabians which have a life of 50 years or more than they are allowed to use them.

Although they are not very aesthetic looking, they are nonetheless structurally extremely sound and they are used even in motorway construction.

The reason they are used is that they are much cheaper than a retaining wall and believe it or not extremely strong.

They do not suffer from any of the instabilities that retaining walls can do if they are not constructed properly.

There is no right to a view so if this stops the view, that is not actionable

Before the right to light is deemed to be interfered with presuming that the right to light has not been excluded in your son's deeds it must be reduced by at least 50%.

In order to determine whether the light has been reduced by 50% it would be necessary to commission a specialist surveyor.

The right to light only applies to buildings and not to the garden although if it stops light to the garden, it can be common law nuisance.

Unless the rainwater run-off does flood the property that is not actionable but if it does flood the property your son has a claim in common law nuisance to make them resolve the issue and pay compensation for any damage.

If no one has been out yet from the planning department and there is no sign of them doing so, I would put a formal complaint in writing to the head of planning and for good measure, write to the Chief Executive. In view of the fact that there is some urgency with this, I would ask for a reply within 10 days failing which I would refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman as a complaint against the council.

I cannot disagree with the last comment you make about getting as many properties in as possible but that is a political debate and not a legal one.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks Jo, you’ve told me nothing I want to hear but at least I now know where we stand legally, feel pretty sick to be honest.

Would it be reasonable to assume I could have legally biding in writing from Barrett’s and then who ever owns the property next door, a statement that they are responsible for maintaining the security of the Gabians and will replace them along with all cost involved to removing and replacing our fencing in 50 years’ time. Wiki’ed the word Gabian and 50 years is the max, they have not used PVC coated wire which would last longer, and they could have even got stainless PVC coated wire which lasts over 60 years. They have created a future problem as I see it.

Regarding the front garden fence I don’t see how they can get away with it, due to the raised ground they will be looking down into my son’s property, that’s not right. I going to try and get them to slope the fence at an angle away from the house as a compromise, don’t hold out much hope.

That will do for now thanks for your input.

Regards Ash

I can understand that.

You can ask the developer for confirmation that they are responsible for this however they have a common law duty in any event and the owner of the property as a common law duty, which lasts for as long as they own the property. Some lenders will not lend on properties retained with a Gabian wall but that is not a problem for you but for whoever buys the property.

The overlooking is an issue for the planning people. From what you have said, it seems likely that they have raised the plot above what was originally envisaged
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