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Uber Geek
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Topic # 230609 4-Mar-2018 21:13
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Our back neighbour plans to build on the site. Ive met a couple of times. He popped in to mention this as there is a non compliance on the design, so he asked for feedback so I have the plans that his designer sent to the Council. Two two storey townhouses, one back, one front, the back one will back onto the back of outrproperty. There are 3 items of non compliance, one for our property on the east side and two on the south neighbours side. Our one is where the roof intrudes on the recession plane by 1.4m at worst and 0.75m at the lowest point. To comply they would need to move the home back by 2.5m, and a small list of problems that would cause. The designers say "the loss of sun for us will be only to garden areas and most affected in the afternoon when the sun is setting". The other two for the other neighbours are the south side gable where the "sun loss is minimal". They also say for the other neighbour that the max width of an intruding gable is 7.5m but the two gables (its two townhouses) are both 9.8, and another list of issues that will cause to the design, making the garage and master bedroom and ensuite not fit in


TBH I find this a bit annoying as the designer has sent in plans for consent, even though they don't comply, and the language of "it will compromise our design and the owners, so please let us have this"


My queries are:


1. Can the council (ChCh) decide that they can be non compliant to the recession planes and just give consent. Surely not, recession planes are there for a reason. 


2. Or will the Council say no dice unless you can get consent from the neighbours? 


Assessing the sun, and where the building's sun facing wall will be, its probably not that big a deal. But I would prefer it was compliant to the recession planes, then I have no issue. Nor will anyone else when they sell/buy properties that have a non compliant neighbouring home



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346 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1968364 5-Mar-2018 18:05
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Here’s what I would do. I would write to the Council and advise them that you’ve seen the proposal and you do not agree that the impact is minor - that you think it may have a material impact (if that’s what you think). Material impact could be on your enjoyment of the property, or affect on future sale of the property (you don’t need to be specific on the impact, just that you think it’s material - less detail is better).

Request that the council consider all aspects when considering the application. Request that they inform you when an application is lodged. Request they acknowledge your letter to you.

When the application is lodged and they inform you, write again noting you have had advice that from what you’ve seen the impact is material. You don’t have to supply the impact statement, which could come from your greengrocer or mother-in-law. See what they say.

If they say that they don’t think the impact is material and that your consent is not required, and they intend to allow the application, write back and say you hope they took your communications into account, and to find out you’ll see them in court. You don’t have to go through with it. But I think you’ll find that the threat will make them apply proper consideration instead of tokenism. The possibility of having to pay costs because they didn’t do their job will give them ... pause for thought.

The idea is to work up to a position where it’s clear that if they don’t properly do their job, then you’ll go them for not doing things properly.

Of course, if they do do their job, and the application is successful nonetheless, well you can’t do anything about that.

The key to what i’m suggesting is to make sure the council is clear you are after a proper assessment from them, and you won’t bow to subtle or not subtle inaccuracies in the application. You will hold the council accountable for a proper assessment. So your language and messaging should focus on that.


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