Spalding couple blames district council for ‘sun snatch’

SUN SNATCHERS: A Spalding couple enjoyed this view from their garden before neighbours built a two-storey extension after planning permission was granted by South Holland District Council in April 2016.  Photo supplied.

SUN SNATCHERS: A Spalding couple enjoyed this view from their garden before neighbours built a two-storey extension after planning permission was granted by South Holland District Council in April 2016. Photo supplied.

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A Spalding couple have accused South Holland District Council of casting a “black shadow” over them by allowing a neighbour to build an extension.

The couple, who asked not to be named, had their objection to the two-storey extension overlooked by planning officers, despite a district council manager visiting the site.

PLANNING ROW: A Spalding couple have this view from their garden after neighbours built a two-storey extension, with planning permission granted by South Holland District Council. Photo supplied.

PLANNING ROW: A Spalding couple have this view from their garden after neighbours built a two-storey extension, with planning permission granted by South Holland District Council. Photo supplied.

A letter from the couple published by our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, in March claimed the extension would “result in overshadowing and a view of a large expanse of brick wall”.

But planning permission was granted in April, despite five objections from people living near the extension.

The couple said: “We were amazed there was nowhere to take the real issues around the devastating emotional effects associated with our neighbour’s extension, the ‘non planning’ issues the council didn’t wish to consider.

“Despite objections from neighbours on both sides of the extension, planning permission was granted and it’s like a black shadow has descended onto our home and garden which have been plunged into darkness.

There will be some loss of light in the morning but any overshadowing would be for part of the day only

South Holland District Council planning department

“It’s a feeling of doom after this building went up and ruined our enjoyment of a home which was once surrounded by blue sky and sun.

“Our garden could once be seen at its full potential, but it’s now really oppressive to have it overlooked by an immense window, thus destroying our privacy and solitude.”

In its decision statement, the council admitted that “there would be some impacts of the development on neighbouring properties, particularly” the couples’ home.

But, the statement went on, “it is not considered that the impacts would be so great as to conflict” with a policy to protect residential pleasantness.

“There will be some loss of light in the morning but any overshadowing would be for part of the day only,” the statement said.

“However, as the sun comes high in the sky, there should be no overshadowing and the impact would be considered acceptable, especially within a town centre location which tends to have buildings closer together.”

But the couple said: “My fuel bills have increased due to the need for lights and heating to compensate for this extension. “We live on a street of Victorian houses and this stands out like a sore thumb, yet the overbearing impact is considered acceptable by the council.

“I just want them to be aware of the impact their decisions have on people.”