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    • Lizzie672
    • By Lizzie672 13th Jun 18, 2:38 PM
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    Lizzie672
    Restrictive Covenant: Neighbour's Summerhouse Issue HELP!
    • #1
    • 13th Jun 18, 2:38 PM
    Restrictive Covenant: Neighbour's Summerhouse Issue HELP! 13th Jun 18 at 2:38 PM
    Hi All

    I wonder if you can possibly assist me at all

    We recently moved into a relatively new build on an estate that is around 6 years old. My neighbour originally had a small summer house in their garden which they have recently upgraded to what can only be described as the equivalent of Chatsworth House - only standing at a maximum of 2.5m tall so as not to need planning permission! Thanks to a variation in ground height this still leaves it sat a good 4ft above our fence

    I'm really concerned with this as it basically runs horizontally boundary to boundary in her garden and imposes on our garden - which we're currently redesigning - so it's really disappointing that this is overshadowing what would have been quite an exciting project

    I have obtained the original deeds via the Land Registery and there is a restrictive covenant in there that states:
    "5. No buildings shall be erected on the said piece of ground hereby
    conveyed or on any part thereof other than such buildings as in the
    opinion of the said Surveyor may be necessary either in the conduct of
    the said trades of a Nurseryman or Florist or in the occupation of the
    said piece of ground as a Private Pleasure or Sports Ground and such
    buildings shall be erected only in accordance with plans previously
    approved at the Purchaser's expense by the Surveyor aforesaid."


    However, as I don't speak legal-ese I wondered if anyone could advise if this is worth potentially pursuing based on this. Do I need any additional documentation; I'm trying to obtain the most recent version from solicitor as well? When it refers to the Surveyor I assume this is the original deedholders, however in the event that recent estate build has kept these in place is this in reference to the building company?

    We are currently trying to negotiate with her to reduce the height but want to explore every avenue possible, particularly when she keeps throwing not requiring planning permission back at us!

    Thanks so much for any help in advance!

    L
    Last edited by Lizzie672; 13-06-2018 at 3:00 PM.
Page 1
    • foxy-stoat
    • By foxy-stoat 13th Jun 18, 3:02 PM
    • 2,677 Posts
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    foxy-stoat
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:02 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:02 PM
    If the purpose of the building could be classed as private pleasure, within heights and floor areas and on a single floor I am not sure there is much you can do about it.

    If it overhangs you will have an issue but if it blocks out a bit of sunlight then you make draw a blank.

    What is the area of the garden and area of the building?
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 13th Jun 18, 3:06 PM
    • 18,425 Posts
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    AdrianC
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:06 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:06 PM
    Yes, the covenant is for the benefit of the estate's developer - but they probably won't care, if they've sold all the plots.


    You could always increase the height of the fence... or grow something tall in that part of your garden. Being able to see the roof of a shed-with-pretensions is not the greatest ill that could befall your lives, y'know.
    • Beenie
    • By Beenie 13th Jun 18, 3:17 PM
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    Beenie
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:17 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:17 PM
    I am not entirely sure about this, but don't sheds and summerhouses come under the classification of temporary buildings? No planning permission required and all that?
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 13th Jun 18, 3:21 PM
    • 2,108 Posts
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    shortcrust
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:21 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:21 PM
    I am not entirely sure about this, but don't sheds and summerhouses come under the classification of temporary buildings? No planning permission required and all that?
    Originally posted by Beenie
    A restrictive covenant could ‘override’ that, but as AdrianC says it’s the developer who has the benefit of the covenant and it seems incredibly unlikely the OP will be able to persuade them to take action.
    • Lizzie672
    • By Lizzie672 13th Jun 18, 3:46 PM
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    Lizzie672
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:46 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:46 PM
    @foxy-stoat The building width / depth is around 13m squared, which means it also isn't covered by any building regulation restrictions.

    We are trying to calculate if it takes up 50% of the garden area, but I would safely bet it's just under - these summerhouse companies sure know what they're doing, regardless of how unreasonable the location or scale !

    @AdrianC This is certainly an avenue we are also investigating and thankfully it's not too late to incorporate into the design of our own renovations - hoping that fence height restrictions won't restrict us from blocking it out or that the owner will do us the courtesy of allowing a slight increase in height under the circumstances. Might be worth a go asking the original developer if we can get hold of them as I have just heard from another neighbour that they were quite strict and had another property alter their shed so perhaps an avenue to pursue.
    • diggingdude
    • By diggingdude 13th Jun 18, 3:59 PM
    • 388 Posts
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    diggingdude
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:59 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 18, 3:59 PM
    What are you trying to build that this is stopping?
    House Deposit - Target £20000 April 2019
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    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 13th Jun 18, 4:01 PM
    • 947 Posts
    • 1,497 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 18, 4:01 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 18, 4:01 PM
    Do you have north facing gardens...is that the only bit that gets the sun, so that's why they've put it there?
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Lizzie672
    • By Lizzie672 13th Jun 18, 4:19 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    Lizzie672
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 18, 4:19 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 18, 4:19 PM
    @diggingdude - it's the size of the structure and the fact it overlooks our garden that is the only issue. I am not adding any buildings / structures to our side of the garden.

    @Sea Shell - that would actually be the only area to get some sun now I consider it you're right!
    Last edited by Lizzie672; 13-06-2018 at 4:26 PM.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 13th Jun 18, 4:19 PM
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    bouicca21
    I'm a bit puzzled about the reference to nurseryman or florist. Does the covenant predate the current residential development?
    • Lizzie672
    • By Lizzie672 13th Jun 18, 4:25 PM
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    Lizzie672
    @bouicca Yes this is from the original and was on the Land Registry summary I received. I think we will speak to our solicitor on if there is a specific set for our estate. It's a managed estate, built on what was previously a nursery site - hence the wording. As we are a managed estate there are certainly rules around facias etc. so perhaps there will be something in there.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Jun 18, 4:38 PM
    • 16,613 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I'd have my doubts you'll get anywhere on this one I'm afraid.

    In your position = I'd throw money at it. Translation being - I'd buy some "as mature as possible"/but won't get too high trees and plant them in the line of view in your garden. That should land up blocking their view of you after a couple of years (yep...I know...it is annoying - as you'd be the one paying the costs of this and you'd have to wait that couple of years or so before your trees got to reasonable size).

    I've done similar in my garden - ie bought the most mature (but not very large) trees I could get for the worst boundary of the garden and made sure they are fruit trees actually (ie so that I can get some reward for my effort/money at some point).

    Suitable trees can deal with a "multitude of sins". I learnt that lesson from my mother (ie when she spotted some 3 storey flats being built up behind her house). She just headed straight out and bought a couple of trees that would grow rather tall (not leylandii I hasten to add) and guerilla planted them there in the "line of sight" to block the flats view of her house (ie it wasn't even her land she planted them on LOL) - but fast forward many years and those trees are huge now. Job done! I'd hazard a guess those guerilla-planted trees are now around 30' - 40' feet high. Way to go mother LOL.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 13-06-2018 at 4:43 PM.
    ****************
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Jun 18, 4:53 PM
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    davidmcn
    @bouicca Yes this is from the original and was on the Land Registry summary I received. I think we will speak to our solicitor on if there is a specific set for our estate.
    Originally posted by Lizzie672
    It has presumably been (at the very least) varied in order to allow the residential development, so you'd better check what else might be in the deeds as you could be looking at something irrelevant.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 13th Jun 18, 5:10 PM
    • 2,108 Posts
    • 3,225 Thanks
    shortcrust
    We are currently trying to negotiate with her to reduce the height but want to explore every avenue possible, particularly when she keeps throwing not requiring planning permission back at us!
    Originally posted by Lizzie672
    I have to say that her response seem perfectly reasonable. The covenant aside, if I'd built something that met planning regs there's no way on earth I'd enter into discussions with disgruntled neighbours asking for changes, unless 'discussions' meant them throwing a shed load of money in my direction.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 13th Jun 18, 5:27 PM
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    Doozergirl
    I am not entirely sure about this, but don't sheds and summerhouses come under the classification of temporary buildings? No planning permission required and all that?
    Originally posted by Beenie
    No, I don't know where this temporary thing comes from. It isn't temporary. Temporary means temporary, not decades temporary.

    But we do have Permitted Development Rights specifically for outbuildings and the government sets those rules with maximum heights and sizes because they deem that they are perfectly reasonable.

    I wouldn't be negotiating with my neighbour over anything that fell within PD rights whether it was their build or my build.

    Even if it exceeded those limits, it's not to say it's not acceptable with planning permission.

    Trying to get someone to enforce a covenant to prevent something that the rest of us are allowed is a bit mean!
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 13-06-2018 at 5:32 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 13th Jun 18, 6:19 PM
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    Smodlet
    The covenant sounds as if it bans the erection of a commercial building, not a "summerhouse"/glorified shed/Wannabe WAGs' retreat/whatever. "Nurserymen/florists" says selling plants and or cut flowers to me. Unless they have a sign outside advertising these, I think you are on a hiding to nothing, OP.

    As already suggested, put some trellis up and grow wisteria or something up it. Failing that, sneak into their garden in the still watches of the night and incite their gnomes to revolt. Better yet, plant gnomes with scale models of AK47s all pointing at this summerhouse... HTH.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • z1a
    • By z1a 13th Jun 18, 6:24 PM
    • 1,470 Posts
    • 1,418 Thanks
    z1a
    @foxy-stoat The building width / depth is around 13m squared, which means it also isn't covered by any building regulation restrictions.

    We are trying to calculate if it takes up 50% of the garden area, but I would safely bet it's just under - these summerhouse companies sure know what they're doing, regardless of how unreasonable the location or scale !

    @AdrianC This is certainly an avenue we are also investigating and thankfully it's not too late to incorporate into the design of our own renovations - hoping that fence height restrictions won't restrict us from blocking it out or that the owner will do us the courtesy of allowing a slight increase in height under the circumstances. Might be worth a go asking the original developer if we can get hold of them as I have just heard from another neighbour that they were quite strict and had another property alter their shed so perhaps an avenue to pursue.
    Originally posted by Lizzie672
    Wow, 169 Sq. metres, that's a fair old shed.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 13th Jun 18, 6:47 PM
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    AdrianC
    Unless it's actually 13m2, rather than 13m x 13m...
    • z1a
    • By z1a 13th Jun 18, 7:03 PM
    • 1,470 Posts
    • 1,418 Thanks
    z1a
    Unless it's actually 13m2, rather than 13m x 13m...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Yep, I think she means that.
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