Saturday, 13 September 2014

Why does it depend on who came first?

Interesting story in The Daily Mail:

When Gerard and Christina White moved into their home 37 years ago, they felt the leafy street of detached properties was among the finest in the suburb.

But the couple fear their £275,000 home is now unsellable – after an extension on the house next door effectively turned the Whites’ three-bedroom detached property into a semi.

The two 1930s houses originally stood 4ft apart but are now separated by only inches. They stand so close together that their roofs and gutters overlap.

For a start, the house next door looks a lot nicer in its converted/extended state than it did before. If Mr Nazir can get the right kind of windows, it will look as if it had always been that way:.

But forget about who did what first, if you look at the photos in the article carefully, you will see that the white house is build right up to the boundary and that its gutter is overhanging the plot next door. So if anything, it's the owners of the white house who are taking the piss.


A K Haart said...

I agree, that new extension seems to be a significant improvement.

There is a very similar example in our street where an extension up to the boundary had to fit under the neighbour's overhanging gutter.

Of the two, the house with the overhanging gutter looks wrong rather than the extended house.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, I suppose what the Whites should have done is buy the house next door last time it came up for sale, shift the boundary a bit and then re-sell.

The Stigler said...

This will knock thousands off the value of our home. In fact, it probably makes it unsellable.

Utter bullshit. I live in a semi- and it's worth about £250K. The blokes* across the road from me sold theirs for around that a couple of weeks ago after a week on the market.

* couple of gay guys. Absolutely lovely interiors.

Rich Tee said...

It's in Birmingham and look at the name of the Buy to Let landlord doing it.

Some people in the comments are on the right lines in speculating why the council won't do anything...

The couple's house is described as "unsellable" but I bet the next door neighbour knows somebody who will take it off their hands...

Kj said...

If there was no restrictions on the distance/offset from the neighbour, tough. There should be more of this.

The Stigler said...

Rich Tee,

"Some people in the comments are on the right lines in speculating why the council won't do anything..."

Because it's an immaterial difference.

Councils make planning decisions based on the effect of buildings on people - light, access etc. If you build to what was agreed you'll be fine. But also, if your design is close enough and it wouldn't change their light/access/etc decision, they aren't going to be bothered.

I mean, they're complaining that it means they can't do maintenance, but how would they have got down there with a 12" gap? The light difference isn't going to affect them having plenty of light coming in.

Physiocrat said...

If I were the owner of the white house I would ask for a party wall agreement, taking account of the difference in levels, and do a matching extension on my side. In fact I would explore the possibility of getting the same builder to do both, thereby reducing costs.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Phys, the white house can't be extended because it already goes right up to the boundary, and their gutter overhangs the neighbour's plot.

Physiocrat said...

I meant a matching, mirror image, extension into the garden.

Bayard said...

I keep seeing stuff that is mild racism masquerading as news and this ssems more of it, as amply pointed out by Rich Tee.

Personally, I can't see what the problem is. They never had any rear access, so they never enjoyed any of the benefits of being a "detached" house (well, more of a semi, really)apart from noise isolation from their neighbours, a benefit they still enjoy.