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AIBU to have turned into a NIMBY?

(34 Posts)
Lozzamas Thu 21-Jul-16 14:39:29

I have always worked bloody hard, saved, never been extravagant in order to buy a good home in a "Niace" area - have managed to achieve that in the green belt and we have spent a fortune making it into our "death nest" . It's about done - worth a fair bit, but priceless to us, as we have it all done as we want, it's quiet and there's plenty for me to potter at in the garden when I finally retire ( I'm currently working out my last year or two working - at nights mainly). Then a new family moved in next door - they were noisy and untidy but we rubbed along, they moved here having sold their previous house to a developer for flats to be built. Bugger me if they haven't done the same again, we have just been advised indirectly by a developer that the houses on either side and opposite us ( all but one probate sales) have been purchased for demolition and they have permission to build 10 semi detached houses on the plots. The developer would now like to buy our plot to make it 12. I had every intention of seeing out my days here that's what we have kitted it out for, I also don't want to have to sleep in the days in the middle of a building site for the next few years, but the developer tells us that the value of our house has crashed with the new development and the reduced price he is offering - which won't buy what we have elsewhere, is the best we are going to get. The local planning office tell me my wishes are out of step with the need for affordable housing and my reduced house price, quiet enjoyment etc. do not figure in the planning process - tough luck. I'm really aggrieved having just had the roof redone and recarpeted throughout etc. Etc. The only people who want this or will profit from it in the area are the new comer repeat developer sellers next door - the residents who have lived here for some time are up in arms at the loss of the "Niace" area they live in - AIBU to dislike what they are doing or wonder where this will all stop when every home is a little box on an estate?

gettingonabit Thu 21-Jul-16 14:49:43

Yes, I think you're being U. You like where you are, so chances are others will find it attractive too.

I don't feel your wishes -no matter how hard won- should trump the need of others.

If you lived in a "naice" part of a city with brownfield land surrounding you, you'd be overwhelmed by development in no time. And why not? Areas change - that's what makes places dynamic and interesting.

breeze Thu 21-Jul-16 14:49:47

You sound like you've really gone into this, so assume you got independent valuations from estate agents. My heart goes out to you. Part of me (the stubborn side that sometimes cuts my nose off to spite my face) feels I would sit there like a pain in the backside ruining his development plans until he ups his price. But of course, it's a standoff situ if you do that and he may just go right ahead with you in the middle of the dust and then being overlooked. Do you feel the valuation is much lower (prices have increased past year) than you would've expected if you had decided to sell prior to this? You could say you want more, or you're going to your MP, Watchdog, Angela Rippon! you know the sort of thing. See if you can squeeze any more (be a pest, keep ringing him up). The sensible side of me, does think living there through the building works, then being overlooked by flats will spoil your forever home. So unless it's a completely unreasonable offer, perhaps go through the upheaval. Did you check whether your neighbours got good prices? Although he is arrogantly telling you, being last, your house isn't not worth what it was due to 'his'! development plans, at the same time, he won't want you sitting in the middle moaning about the dust and noise.

Anniebach Thu 21-Jul-16 14:52:15

You are against affordable housing if near you?

breeze Thu 21-Jul-16 14:53:09

apologies, hot office. Not flats.

Luckygirl Thu 21-Jul-16 14:55:03

There is a bit of the NIMBY in all of us - able to understand and endorse the need for affordable housing, but not mad about getting caught up in it when we have spent lots of money on a peaceful retirement. I am sorry to hear what is happening to you, although I doubt there is much you can do about it.

We have just moved to a lovely bungalow but we know that we could have some houses being built over the road from us - we knew that from the start - so it will be a bit noisy for a while I guess; but the main views from the house are from the back and they are unlikely to be involved - says she with her fingers crossed! The field behind us belongs to the man next door and I doubt he would want to wreck his own view - and there is no real access to the field. And beyond that is a wood which I think is probably protected.

I am sorry about your troubles - and yes you are being a NIMBY, but I am sure we can all understand where you are coming from.

Cherrytree59 Thu 21-Jul-16 18:01:29

Hi don't believe the estate agents.
This happened to my sister with only a hedge never mind road between her and the new homes
Her house price is exactly the same as it was before the build.
As most 'would be' viewers/buyers are not aware of what it was like before the new houses.
A bungalow 2 doors down from sister has just been sold for the asking price.
When we moved to our present house we were told we could buy the house but not the view.

The longer you hold out the more the developer will probably offer, so you could be in the pound seats.
If you decide to stay, it will be a pain short term but things will soon get back to normal.

Good luck with what ever you choose

M0nica Thu 21-Jul-16 18:03:07

This is not being NIMBY. Your home is being devalued and you will be substantially out of pocket as a result.

Sometimes we have to work out what is in our best interest rather than what we would prefer to happen and I think, if I was in your position, I would consider the selling to the developer option but NOT at the price they offer. I would find myself a good chartered surveyor/negotiator and get him to deal with the developer and make your move dependent on you being able to move to a similar house in an area of your choice where house prices are comparable. I suspect you will find that the price the developer is offering is very negotiable, if you use a professional negotiator who knows his job.

granjura Thu 21-Jul-16 19:11:07

Same advice, Monica beat me to it. They are trying it on and see if it works, but I'm sure they've got some negotiating space. Bonne chance.

grannylyn65 Thu 21-Jul-16 19:25:34

Agree with last 2 posters 🍷💐

phoenix Thu 21-Jul-16 19:38:56

Luckygirl I applaud you! Your post is both right and honest, yes, there is an element of the NIMBY in all of us!

Altruism is of course commendable, but who among us would feel altruistic about (for example) having travellers setting up a temporary "town" next to our property?

Tin helmet time, perhaps?

Elrel Thu 21-Jul-16 19:46:30

I agree with those who say don't accept it without a fight, always worth a try!

annodomini Thu 21-Jul-16 20:32:17

When the development came up for planning permission were you and other established residents given the opportunity to comment/object? It does sound as if it was sprung on you which is not as it should be.

Jalima Thu 21-Jul-16 20:44:29

I agree with M0nica's post.

Yes, there is some NIMBY in all of us Luckygirl, plus we do not want our house devalued because, should we decide to move, that could restrict our options of what we would like to buy in future.

I would be tempted to move but hold out for a proper price for your house plus enough money to cover your removal costs.

You are against affordable housing if near you?
I don't think that is the main issue - we had building work going on around us (unexpected work on what was protected land) and it went on for years and years with noise, dust and mess.

merlotgran Thu 21-Jul-16 21:55:28

I echo what anno has said. You should have been given written notice of the planning applications with a time limit for objection.

You say it is green belt land but I am scratching my head over this.

The council website would also have had all the details.

The local planning office tell me my wishes are out of step with the need for affordable housing and my reduced house price, quiet enjoyment etc. do not figure in the planning process

The planning office is a public service. They can't voice personal opinions like that.

Whatever they think/say, you had a right to object and a right to appeal the decision.

You mention other residents. Did they also not object?

Coolgran65 Thu 21-Jul-16 22:18:47

If you get to the point of considering a move, bear in mind that the developer make get desperate for your site. Especially as he will have workmen and equipment already working at hand. It could be that he ends up offering well over market value if you are the only resident standing in his way.

Elegran Thu 21-Jul-16 23:15:04

I would check first of all that they DO have planning permission and they HAVE bought all these other houses. You should have had notice of their application for planning permission. If you didn't, you can create merry hell at not having a chance to object.

You can see the details of the application - they can't get planning permission for land they don't actually own!

You say most of these houses were probate sales, do you know that for sure? And that they definitely have bought them all?

Divide and conquer is the name of the game, if the developer can persuade you that everyone else has sold, he will get you to sell. He may be doing the same thing to everyone else.

If they did buy them, you can find out the prices, and make sure that you get at least the same as the others. Hold out - the developers need your land desperately, make sure they pay top price for it - and don't be intimidated.

Elegran Thu 21-Jul-16 23:20:21

Lozzamas Thu 21-Jul-16 23:54:09

Sorry been sleeping this afternoon so to answer some of your questions- our LA no longer send out consultations- they are published on their website and you answer them there - that is considered notice served nowadays. I'm not a big internet person so have only seen it once approved. It did go in last year and was rejected due to dominating the area, and 33 resident objections, the developer then changed the plans to reduce the houses from 3 storeys to 2 on the advice of the planning office and agreed to plant more trees on our boundary - which actually is a nuisance as they were only removed two years ago to open the vista, and it's gone through on a nod as all the original council objections were addressed by the resubmission. The planning officer made the comments in line with the local planning guidelines - which places a duty on them to increase the housing stock and ensure more choice and diversity of accommodation by ensuring all areas are mixed and the need for high intensity housing is shared in the more rural parts of the area. Large parts of the green belt here are apparently being set aside in our next strategic plan as the LA moves to comply with new housing density guidelines. To put it simply the planning officer said all big plots are to be split up whenever possible, sorry but that's what the council have voted for. At present our 2 neighbours houses like ours are central in their plot so about 30 feet from the boundary the new development will be against the boundary on both sides as well as opposite. I am altruistic generally - my kids both moved half a country away in order to afford homes, I know houses are needed and we did seek to build them 2 starter homes on our plot and were refused permission as it didn't meet the density guidelines - not intensive enough. I'm just bemused that against all wishes except the developers and profiteering neighbours the whole village and my future in particular is going to be changed forever. We were sorted, we now probably have to start again... All good advice though ladies thank you, I guess I just have to get the mourning over toughen up and try and profiteer myself, however unwanted (this wasn't all about the money) I will have to stay local due to caring for MIL who lives on an ex council estate about 2 miles away.

Craftycat Fri 22-Jul-16 12:26:27

In total sympathy. We moved into a quiet cul de sac opposite woodland & backing onto large gardens behind us in 1992 with 2 teenagers & were very happy to live here for as long as we could manage.
All fine until about 5 years ago when the 'Big' detached houses that back onto ours decided to start selling off their back gardens to developers to build new small estates.I know they were offered huge amounts of cash & I can understand the temptation to move on & let them get on with it. Now we are blighted with noise, dirt & endless disruption getting out of our road while the latest of these new 'roads' are built. They cram totally inappropriate new builds into these spaces & now the local children can no longer get onto the local primary school with their siblings & the doctors are over run. They do not provide enough parking so the road is blocked with cars parking on pavement.
We have fought against it to no avail & even got together to get a QC to put our case to the council when they held an enquiry on the latest development- after 3 months it was amended to 13 instead of 39 dwellings but that went up to 29 when they started to build. Apparently this art of Surrey has to provide housing for London overspill. Our small area of the borough has provided 98% of all new build in the entire borough.
You can't win against these developers who have plenty of cash to grease palms. There are plenty of brown field sites locally sitting unused but they have now opened up green belt land at end of road adjoining the local primary school for building soon. No provision is being made for more local services to cope with the amount of new people moving in.
It is a disgrace & we are powerless to stop it.
These are not 'affordable housing'properties- which I could understand- but mostly large & medium detached & semi detached properties which make the most profit for the developers.
Am I a NIMBY?- yes I probably am & I feel I am fully justified in expecting to live in the sort of area & environment that we paid for all those years ago & are still paying a mortgage on.

NotSpaghetti Fri 22-Jul-16 13:00:30

This is EXACTLY what happened in our area. The "village" (actually a village suburb of small town) which currently has a tiny population and a post office, is to house something near 3,500 of the area's required 3,750 new homes. Some of these will be build on land which floods intermittently (!)
Ironically, these also aren't "affordable housing" and furthermore are being marketed by the developers as commuter homes for our nearest big city (which isn't even in our county, let alone borough).
It annoys me, even though I'm already on a main road, as there are masses of brownfield sites which the developers won't use - I have had this directly from the council - and the reason is, apparently, that the council can't afford the incentives the builders want to use brownfield and the council are afraid of government sanctions if they haven't built enough. Basically we are over a barrel here, and so is the council.

I can definitely see your dilemma, but these estates are built in stages (and ridiculously quickly as they want to sell them) so if you decide to stay, the disruption may be over quicker than you think. Housing estates are not at all like individual architect designed houses which seem to take forever, and so once one is done, the rest will follow quickly.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck.

Gagagran Fri 22-Jul-16 13:12:55

The beautiful open farmland opposite our house, which is the last green gap between our small town and our borough town, has been designated for building 1600 houses on, despite there supposedly being a covenant saying it must be kept as the green gap.

There have been public consultations and protests but all in vain. It seems that so long as the box marked "have the public been consulted?" is ticked then they can go ahead and do what they want.

If the local council is brave enough to refuse planning permission, the developers appeal,then an inspector comes down from London and hey diddle diddle overrules the council and local population, We don't have any local democracy. We don't have choices. This is all driven by central government.

VIOLETTE Fri 22-Jul-16 13:28:12

The same thing happened to a friend of mine in the UK ....she was a widow, living with her disabled daughter in a house her late husband had restored beautifully. A developer came along and wanted her to sell it to him. She refused. She was the only person to have done so .....which would have meant the developer would build all round her house the end, a compromise was reached ....she agreed to sell her house (the plot on which it stood would be used for three new houses !) and the builder in return built her a modern three bed bungalow ....she agreed after she moved, that for her and her daughter this was the best solution, and easier to live in for her daughter than the three storey house ! .........although you really do not want to sell, and the price being offered would be insufficient for you to buy a similar house in your area, what are the chances of the developer getting so desperate he would offer to build you another house ?!! .......not what you want at the moment, but as we all get old and cannot cope with a large house and garden, a bungalow, for instance, might be a good idea to consider ?

Granny2016 Fri 22-Jul-16 13:30:30

Anniebach...Do you think it is acceptable for affordable housing to be built in such a way that others are penalised,either by the quality of their life,or a loss in their property value???
Should this poster should be on a guilt trip?
I see the loss of their house value as theft and I speak as someone who grew up on a council estate.

Councils will always support developers as they do not wish to build affordable housing of their own.
Council housing stock was sold off to residents when properties were reaching a point when their fabric needed upgrading,and not considered to be cost effective.
The plan was that the monies accrued from the sales would be invested in new building,which rarely happened.

If your neighbours have done this twice (with the same council),it may be worth looking into any connection between the parties.
My sisters house was devalued and quality of life ruined by very unreasonable development at an adjoining property.The neighbour was a local city councillor.

You may be lucky and the houses filled with very decent people....but you may not and your house value may decrease more.
You are certainly not being unreasonable,and ignore any who suggest otherwise.

Eloethan Fri 22-Jul-16 15:12:30

I don't have a great deal of sympathy for people who object to small developments being built, say, in their vicinity - perhaps on the outskirts of their village. As others have said, people need homes. Complaints are often made about the "character" of the area being changed, which sometimes means that they object to the more modern (and modest) residences that are being built.

However, in this particular case, it seems that this new development is in effect right on top of you and will be very disruptive both during the building stages and afterwards. If you were being offered a realistic price to move, if it were me I would be tempted to sell. But if they are trying to frighten you into selling at a much reduced price, that seems really unfair to me.

I don't agree with the idea that local authorities can just publish planning permission details on their website and expect residents to keep checking to see if any of the plans impact upon them. I think residents should be notified personally of plans of this nature.

I agree that you should try and get further information on this and don't do anything too hasty until you have sought legal advice.