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  • FIRST POST
    • cyantist
    • By cyantist 17th Mar 17, 1:18 PM
    • 455Posts
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    cyantist
    Complaint about non-obscured windows in loft conversion
    • #1
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:18 PM
    Complaint about non-obscured windows in loft conversion 17th Mar 17 at 1:18 PM
    A complaint has been made about the side windows in our almost finished loft conversion, because they aren’t obscured. The people complaining have side windows in their conversion that overlook us and aren’t obscured but I guess as these have been there a while they were probably done before this regulation came into effect (it does seem a little hypocritical complaining about ours though).

    I have double checked the plans that were approved by the council and nowhere does it mention them needing to be obscured. However looking at the rules and regulations, a condition of permitted development is that all side windows are obscured. The planning officer said it should have specified this on the approved plans, and it is an oversight on their part. The building company has said they were working to plans approved by the council and as that showed standard glazed windows – it’s not their fault.

    Where do we stand with this?

    I know you can get that film which you can put over windows so you can’t see out/into them – is this likely to be enough to satisfy the council?
Page 1
    • Wassa123
    • By Wassa123 17th Mar 17, 1:22 PM
    • 207 Posts
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    Wassa123
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:22 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:22 PM
    Have your neighbours complained to the council or just to you?
    If it's just to you, say the council stuffed up and the builders did what the council has said and it's too late to solve it.


    If the council want you to fix it, try and push back and say due to the councils oversight, it is too late to do this. If they come back and force you, just use the window film.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 17th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
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    Hoploz
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    My understanding is that once you've had the approval that the council said the plans were lawful, then if something changes afterwards that mean it shouldn't have been approved, it still stands as it was deemed legal at the time of building.
    • cyantist
    • By cyantist 17th Mar 17, 1:39 PM
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    cyantist
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:39 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:39 PM
    The first I knew about the complaint was when a planning officer turned up and told me about it.

    That's interesting hoploz. I guess the issue is that nothing has changed, apart from them realising they overlooked something in the original plans. Obviously we thought we were doing everything properly, as did the builders as they were following the approved plans.

    The planning officer said I would have 28 days to change them to obscure glazed ones but obviously the builders wont cover the cost of any changes and we can't afford to.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th Mar 17, 1:51 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:51 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Mar 17, 1:51 PM
    The film is absolutely fine to use. Will cost £5 or so.

    The issue isn't overlooking something they didn't know was there; it's a blanket planning policy. If you had a professional draw up the plans, it should have been in them. It's a schoolboy error
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Ant555
    • By Ant555 17th Mar 17, 4:02 PM
    • 590 Posts
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    Ant555
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 4:02 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Mar 17, 4:02 PM
    The people complaining have side windows in their conversion that overlook us and aren’t obscured but I guess as these have been there a while they were probably done before this regulation came into effect (it does seem a little hypocritical complaining about ours though).
    Originally posted by cyantist
    As a side issue...
    Do you know how long the neighbours have had their conversion? - You could look up on the council planning portal and see the plans to check if their window has been changed afterwards.

    My next door neighbour changed his side window 12 months after the build (side faces away from me so no issue for me) but his plans definitely say must be obscured glass.

    I wonder if your neighbours (or previous owners even?) did the same... however it might be a bit tit-for-tat depending on whether you want to get on with your neighbours.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 17th Mar 17, 4:29 PM
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    PasturesNew
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 4:29 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Mar 17, 4:29 PM
    The film will be enough .... if it bothers you, then when the neighbours sell, as you see their loaded van driving off, rip them off and the new people will probably never know/not care. To resell, choose whether to stick film up again or not.
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 17th Mar 17, 4:36 PM
    • 865 Posts
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    teneighty
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 4:36 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Mar 17, 4:36 PM
    Possibly some confusion. OP mentions "approved drawings" and also "permitted development"

    Which is it? Did the loft conversion receive Planning Approval (NOT Building Regulations Approval) or was it done under permitted development?

    If it was the former and the approved drawings do not show obscured glass there is nothing planners can do. If it is the latter you need to obscure the glass or apply for Planning Approval.
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 17th Mar 17, 5:06 PM
    • 2,154 Posts
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    the_r_sole
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 5:06 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Mar 17, 5:06 PM
    If it had a planning approval then it's approved no matter if it varies from policy. There is zero the council can do but in the interest of neighbourly relations you could just do it...
    • cyantist
    • By cyantist 17th Mar 17, 5:37 PM
    • 455 Posts
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    cyantist
    Doozergirl, from a quick look online it seemed it would cost quite a bit more than a fiver, but then obviously nothing compared to the cost of replacing windows.
    It was indeed a schoolboy error by the architect, but then the planning officer admitted they shouldn't have approved them without specifying they should be obscured.

    I'm not sure when the neighbours conversion was done - a long time ago. There's no details on the council website anyway and they have details of our garage on there that was built in 1984.

    Possibly some confusion. OP mentions "approved drawings" and also "permitted development"

    Which is it? Did the loft conversion receive Planning Approval (NOT Building Regulations Approval) or was it done under permitted development?

    If it was the former and the approved drawings do not show obscured glass there is nothing planners can do. If it is the latter you need to obscure the glass or apply for Planning Approval.
    Originally posted by teneighty
    It was all done under permitted development, but we had to submit the plans in advance to the planning department at our local council for approval. I have no idea why given that they couldn't really say no, I was under the impression that it was just to check that everything we were doing was actually permitted development. Anyway the plans came back with "approved" stamped all over them.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 17th Mar 17, 6:14 PM
    • 22,912 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    Doozergirl, from a quick look online it seemed it would cost quite a bit more than a fiver, but then obviously nothing compared to the cost of replacing windows.
    Originally posted by cyantist
    DC fix is what I have on my ensuite windows after we converted it from a bedroom. It's going nowhere. Are your side windows wider? You can buy 90cm width as well, I think.

    £6.28 from Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/d-c-fix-Static-Window-adhesive-338-8011/dp/B005GJW8GY/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1489774326&sr=1-1&keywords=dc+fix+frosted+window+film
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • cyantist
    • By cyantist 17th Mar 17, 6:43 PM
    • 455 Posts
    • 1,013 Thanks
    cyantist
    Thank you!
    I would need a few of those in total but they still seem good value.
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