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Objecting to a Planning Application on grounds of impact on disability

VM6006 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited November 2021 in Housing and independent living
I can find endless advice on how to submit a planning application for adaptations for disability but nothing about objecting to a planning application which will impact on disability.

I live in a listed converted barn which is all one level open plan living. It has enabled my family to live in peace and specifically supports the needs of my 17 year old daughter who has profound and multiple learning difficulties. In September we received without warning a planning application notice submitted by new neighbours who had moved in next door to convert and extend their cartlodge into a large new two bedroom house. The cartlodge as is our garage set on a shared driveway. The proposed house would by 25ft away from my house, with a large balcony and windows which would look into every window and thus every room of my house and all of the garden. We submitted an objection citing overdevelopment, overlooking, insufficient parking, impact on heritage and many other reasons. The application was refused but then another application was submitted calling the application an annexe which our planning consultant (who we had to hire at great cost) said was a way to try to get round planning permission. The proposed house was the same size with a window removed and a statement that there would be no impact on parking. 

This application was also refused on the grounds of overdevelopment, overlooking, parking, heritage and the refusal went into 9 pages. In order to make our objections very clear we had explained in our submission that our personal circumstances were exceptionally and clearly relevant in relation to the planning application as our home provides facilities for someone with a disability. We explained that as the neighbours cartlodge is right in front of our house the proposed annexe and any other form of residential building would overlook us directly and from above and below straight into our living areas, dining area, kitchen, hall, toilet, bathroom and bedrooms. Any building that looks directly onto our home will reduce our privacy by 100% and make our home unliveable because our daughter needs complete privacy. The nature of her disability means that she has extreme anxiety and cannot cope with closed doors, does not have any understanding of closing doors when in the toilet and bathroom, removes clothing due to sensory issues and has emotional meltdowns due to her limited understanding of the world that both myself, my husband and our daughter should have the privacy to deal with without anyone watching. The layout of our house means that myself and my husband can have some respite from supervising our daughter as we are able to keep watch over her when she is in other areas of the house because we can see her. The overlooking and loss of privacy from having people looking in all areas of our home would take away the little independence that our daughter is able to have and force us as parents to have to monitor her 24/7 to ensure that she is safe and not exposed. As my house is Grade II listed, I would have no way of making adaptations to my home and neither could I do so because my daughter needs one level living due to having arthritis so the impact inside our home will be intolerable.

Our loss of privacy would also be 100% outside in the garden. Any building would be so close that when siting or using anywhere in the garden there would be nowhere for us to go without being seen and make it unusable. Due to our daughters needs we are a family that finds it difficult to spend time out of our home, so our social life and wellbeing involves us being able to invite family and friends to our home particularly in the summer months and this enables us to have a good family life and for our daughter to engage with others in an environment that she feels comfortable in. As many of my daughters friends have disabilities and we as her parents have friends who also have children and young people with disabilities any loss of privacy in our garden would not only impact on us but also our family and guests. 

Parking is also an issue because once the cartlodge parking is removed the neighbour and new building would have to park on the driveway. The planning application shows only one parking space but the neighbours have two cars plus two cars for the proposed annexe so parking would be pushed onto the shared area of the driveway and make it difficult for us to turn to get in and out of our garage. Because of Lockdown we have had no guests, therapists or carers for our daughter park in our guest spaces but that will change now that things are returning to no restrictions. We need our daughters carers to be able to get in and out safely. It is especially important for her school mini bus transport and activity transport to be able to pull up outside so that the door is facing the right way for our daughter to get onto the bus safely and not to be pushed towards the road as she may run out into the road. 
This week the neighbours have submitted another planning application. We have tried to discuss it with them but they are being abusive despite us welcoming them when we arrived and trying to engage in conversation over the fence during Lockdowns. They now just keep shouting at us that it is their right to build what they like. As we now have to object to a third application we we will cover all the things that we did before but need to be really clear what damage any building will do to us. All planning objection guidelines say is that personal statements aren't relevant unless their is some reason to consider disability. Most information on the internet just refers to how to submit a planning application which sets out disability issues. We have no idea what the proposed house would be used for. We believe it is to be sold as this is what our new neighbours did before moving here by building another house in their garden for profit. It may also be a rental or holiday let which would mean multiple strange people coming and going putting impacting on our daughter even more with loss of privacy, noise, disturbance etc.

It is a really stressful situation so if there is anyone out there who has any advice or ideas as to how to make sure that my daughters circumstances are relevant to the next planning application your help would be greatly appreciated.. 


  • wilko
    wilko Community member Posts: 2,458 Disability Gamechanger
    @VM6006, hello and welcome, have you approached your local councillor, inviting them to your home to see for them selves what your concerns or issues are regarding the proposed planning application. You could use good quality net curtains to stop people looking in . But as for the parking surly there is something on your deeds that states what parts are shares usage. Should the building go ahead there will be problems with builders lorry’s delivering materials ect.   So talking with your local councillor is your first port of call. They can be found by looking online.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,129 Disability Gamechanger
    Would agree that involving your local councillor might be helpful, or even by the sounds of whats happening your MP?

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