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  • FIRST POST
    • KingfisherMel
    • By KingfisherMel 10th Nov 18, 6:15 PM
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    KingfisherMel
    Conservatory planning issue - compensation?
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 18, 6:15 PM
    Conservatory planning issue - compensation? 10th Nov 18 at 6:15 PM
    Hi,

    I'm hoping someone can please advise whether we might be entitled to compensation, and if so, how we can go about it.

    We had a conservatory built earlier this year by a large reputable company. Part of their role was to deal with planning issues. They decided planning wasn't required, and the conservatory was built. It subsequently came to light that planning was required, and whilst granted retrospectively, a condition was applied that privacy glass had to be installed the full length of the side on our neighbour's boundary. The company did this and met the cost.

    Our complaint is that, by failing to obtain planning before building, the company have left us with no choice but to accept the privacy glass option. We would never have chosen this if we'd known of the planning condition in advance ; the glass is pointless from our point of view, we can't see out (and have therefore lost what little view we had in that direction), and light coming in is significantly reduced. We would definitely have chosen to have a solid brick wall instead, giving us much more functionality than the glass.

    Given this is a significant permanent design change to what we contractually agreed, and not a positive one, we feel we should be entitled to some compensation. The company have offered £200 as an apology only, and refuse to increase it as they say contractually they are not obliged to pay anything (given there is no actual damage that needs repairing).

    They are not members of an independent body such as the ombudsman scheme, so we aren't sure where else we can take this.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
Page 1
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 10th Nov 18, 6:18 PM
    • 6,851 Posts
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    marliepanda
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 6:18 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 18, 6:18 PM
    I feel you should have requested this change before they put in privacy glass.

    You’ve accepted that change now, it’s not very fair to say ‘well the glass is fine but I’d rather have had a wall so pay us for that’
    • Les79
    • By Les79 10th Nov 18, 7:01 PM
    • 574 Posts
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    Les79
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:01 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:01 PM
    Hmm, well what would you have done if this all came to light (no pun intended) BEFORE the work was undertaken?


    If you would have (reluctantly) agreed to the work anyway then I can only advise you to accept the £200 and say "thank you" to the company.

    If you WOULDN'T have agreed to the work, then I have to ask why you didn't insist on the company ripping the entire thing down, at their expense, instead of installing the glass?


    Ultimately, though, if the company refuse to offer further compensation then you are more than entitled to take them to small claims court against them. You may be wise speaking to a solicitor etc and would also need to put some sort of value on all of this; tricky, but potentially do-able. But being completely honest, that sounds like a very mitherous way to go and not sure how good of a chance you'd have.
    Last edited by Les79; 10-11-2018 at 7:04 PM.
    • KingfisherMel
    • By KingfisherMel 10th Nov 18, 7:02 PM
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    KingfisherMel
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:02 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:02 PM
    But they'd already built the conservatory. Replacing the glass with a wall would have required taking down the whole thing and rebuilding it, and would have cost the company far more than I would expect in compensation.
    It simply wasn't an option anyone would have wanted.
    I don't want compensation to pay for a wall, I just feel the price of the job should be reduced due to the error they've made to reflect we've not got what we wanted.
    • KingfisherMel
    • By KingfisherMel 10th Nov 18, 7:04 PM
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    KingfisherMel
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:04 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:04 PM
    Fair question. But to be honest at the time we were relieved we had got the planning consent at all. The cost (and inconvenience) of tearing it down and rebuilding would have been massive. I can't believe they would ever have agreed to that, and i didn't really think it was an option at the time.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 10th Nov 18, 7:13 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:13 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:13 PM
    Getting planning approval before work started was your responsibly.

    The fact it was built without planning was all down to you.
    Hi there! We’ve had to remove your signature. Please check the Forum Rules if you’re unsure why it’s been removed and, if still unsure, email forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • KingfisherMel
    • By KingfisherMel 10th Nov 18, 7:43 PM
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    KingfisherMel
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:43 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Nov 18, 7:43 PM
    But we paid a professional expert to manage the process. Surely they can't then not deliver on that service.
    • AndyMc.....
    • By AndyMc..... 10th Nov 18, 8:50 PM
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    AndyMc.....
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 8:50 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Nov 18, 8:50 PM
    But we paid a professional expert to manage the process. Surely they can't then not deliver on that service.
    Originally posted by KingfisherMel
    It's your house and you let them start work without the appropriate permission.

    It's down to you.
    Hi there! We’ve had to remove your signature. Please check the Forum Rules if you’re unsure why it’s been removed and, if still unsure, email forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 11th Nov 18, 10:41 AM
    • 2,400 Posts
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    Aylesbury Duck
    • #9
    • 11th Nov 18, 10:41 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Nov 18, 10:41 AM
    As AndyMc has points out, planning is in your court. It's your property and whilst you can delegate responsibility for planning processes to the conservatory company, you can't delegate accountability.

    I can't see on what grounds you are entitled to compensation. You say it's to compensate you for not getting what you wanted but at no stage did you ask for a conservatory with a full brick wall. By your own admission it's a fallback solution you prefer retrospectively now that you know of the privacy situation.
    • societys child
    • By societys child 11th Nov 18, 11:18 AM
    • 5,511 Posts
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    societys child
    we can't see out (and have therefore lost what little view we had in that direction), and light coming in is significantly reduced. We would definitely have chosen to have a solid brick wall instead, giving us much more functionality than the glass.
    So, you've not lost much at all regarding the "view" and a brick wall would have significantly reduced the light even more.
    Given this is a significant permanent design change
    The change of glass doesn't sound like "a significant permanent design change", admittedly I can't see it from here.


    £200 compensation sounds pretty good.

    • Potbellypig
    • By Potbellypig 12th Nov 18, 12:41 PM
    • 284 Posts
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    Potbellypig

    I can't see on what grounds you are entitled to compensation. You say it's to compensate you for not getting what you wanted but at no stage did you ask for a conservatory with a full brick wall. By your own admission it's a fallback solution you prefer retrospectively now that you know of the privacy situation.
    Originally posted by Aylesbury Duck
    OP - I'd say this comment is pretty much spot on. I can't see how you think you're entitled to compensation either.
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