Neighbours aghast after five-storey building goes up metres away without anyone telling them

Posted On 16 Apr 2015 at 8:26 am

People living next to a building site are furious after a new five-storey block of flats started going up without anyone informing them.

Richmond Parade neighboursThe first residents of Ebeneezer Apartments in Ivory Place knew of the development less than four metres away from their block was when the diggers started going in.

The council wrote to some neighbours of the site – but not the people living in the block right next door as its policy is not to write to individuals living in blocks with more than 15 homes.

Resident Michael Nelson, a charity worker, said: “A major building site for a five floor building just feet away appeared without notification about planning.

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“Our seven flats have been rendered unsaleable as all light will be blocked for the sake of four new flats.

The council granted four lots of planning permission without notifying us as neighbours of the application.

“Apparently if you live in a block of flats Brighton council don’t notify you by post.

“Their idea of notifying us was to put a sign up two streets away uphill and away from the shops, buses and the building being built.”

Another resident, tour manager Leigh Britton who lives on the second floor, said: “Our view which is currently of the area around St Peter’s Church will be a brick wall or a window 3.5 metres away, blocking all the light.

“The one bedroom flats on my side of the building only have windows facing this new building.

“The alleyway is quite narrow and we have already had huge problems with vandalism there, people breaking into the bin shed and shooting up drugs. That’s now going to be even darker so the problem will get worse. ”

A council spokesman said: “The planning applications on 12a Richmond Parade were advertised in accordance with our adopted Statement of Community Involvement by a mixture of site notices and neighbour notification.

“Where a block of flats has more than 15 units we will rely on site notices. This is normal practice.”

“Once a planning approval is granted there is no right of appeal by objectors. The only way for an objector to challenge planning approval is through the courts.”

Mr Nelson, Ms Britton and their neighbours have now started a formal complaints process, with the intention of going to the planning ombudsman if it is not resolved.

But they are resigned to the fact that even if their complaint is successful, the building may have been built by the time it is decided.

Once an application is approved, neighbours have the option of applying for a judicial review – but there is a time limit on this.

And as work only began on this site six months and a day after the plans were approved, this is no longer an option.

When completed, the building will consist of four two-bedroom flats with office space on the ground floor.

  1. Michael Dawson Reply

    Get a grip! Typical NIMBY blaming everyone else for their problems, and oh -dear – the alley will be a bit darker (like for most of us in built up areas). Used to live round the corner and its so obvious that area would be developed sometime. The complainers block includes social housing – their very fortunate to have be able to afford home, but don’t want anyone elses to be built or combat the housing crisis. And at the end of the day, if the complaint is that notices went up in the street but not in the post, why didn’t they look at them – like everyone else does. there are 15 of them apparently!

  2. emma norman Reply

    Before you start making rather insensitive comments Michael on cases that you have no understanding on – do the right thing and ensure that you have your facts correct.

    You are totally missing the point. Firstly – it does not affect the social housing of the property in any way . They are not involved in the complaint.

    Secondly – this issue here is about people’s property values being significantly affected as well as the fact that “their ” south west facing properties being totally obliterated of daylight.

    I would like to add further in my response to you that having a building demolished , and a new one constructed 3 metres away from their homes is incredibly disruptive from a noise pollution perspective in many ways.

    So in respect to your advuce to the residents to as you politely phrased ‘get a grip’ , I wonder if your views on this matter have been altered?

    I would suggest the use of accurate grammar when making such fleeting judgements in a public forum …

  3. Michael Dawson Reply

    Emma, no – my views have not changed. Exactly my point about NIMBY attitudes, and no surprise on the point of your property values being affected (though in your news piece you said ‘unsaleable – rather dramatically). You know, housing in Brighton has become unaffordable for the average person, largely due to the obsession with property prices, such as yours. No social conscience, no sympathy I’m afraid. A bit rich, your comments on grammar – best you recheck your own!

  4. emma norman Reply

    Michael – I suggest you find better things to do with your day that spend time writing on blogs that you have no understanding on.

    You should be ashamed of your arrogance

  5. Michael Dawson Reply

    Suggest away…..

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