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Construction work in residential areas

(125 Posts)
Beswitched Wed 21-Apr-21 19:32:57

Why is it now acceptable for people to buy houses that are nowhere near what they want and then turn the place into a building site for months and months and months. Someone building on a conservatory or a downstairs toilet, taking a few weeks I can understand.

But the amount of young people who think it's OK to ruin the quality of life for all the long term residents around them, wake everyone up at 7 in the morning with the sound of lorries parking and equipment being unloaded, prevent everyone from enjoying their back garden etc etc and then as soon as they're finished the people who've bought the house around the corner start up and there's another year of peace gone.

I know they're legally entitled to do this but when did people become so selfish and lacking in awareness. Why is having the optimum perfect house in the optimum perfect location more important than consideration for your fellow citizens?

FlexibleFriend Thu 22-Apr-21 11:01:28

I'm living through this at the moment, so far we've had non stop banging and drilling for 6 weeks and it doesn't look anywhere near finished to me yet. The new owners are very apologetic and keep saying they want the builders to get a move on and they want to move in. They clearly feel guilty as they asked if I wanted to add anything to their skip as I have a hippo bag ready for collection. I added it to their skip and gave them £100 towards the cost. Honestly I'm bewildered they're now painting the bedrooms which is at least quiet but the ancient flat roof at the back hasn't been replaced and when I had mine done it damaged the kitchen ceiling so I would certainly do that before painting. I can only assume it's not considered important till it leaks.

Savvy Thu 22-Apr-21 11:25:32

It's been going on for about 4 years in my street, but we're part of a renovation programme to modernise the flats and fix the damp.

The major issue is that for the first 3 years they fixed the wrong kind of damp. The landlords kept insisting that it was condensation damp, when in fact it's rising. As such there are a couple of flats which are currently on their third renovation works in 4 years. Complete waste of time and money and we know most of the other renovated flats will need to be done again because it hasn't worked. It was never going to work until they listened to the tenants who knew what the issue was.

They are currently working on 3 properties at a time and each one means an additional six vehicles in the street all day, plus the trucks dropping off and picking up materials, skips and whatever else they need and they aren't even half way through.

It's never ending!

JaneJudge Thu 22-Apr-21 11:33:11

I don't understand why there is so much being built on green belt? The planning applications going through in the country are really quite extraordinary confused on our lane a tiny, I mean teeny tiny bungalow was bought and bulldozed and a hotel sized house built, gated off, garage bigger than most large bungalows, paved drive etc. How on earth do they get planning for something so big to replace on green belt? not to mention all the colossal scale residential estate building on farmland going on

Savvy Thu 22-Apr-21 11:39:34

JaneJudge we have the same problem here. A field which was used for growing crops has just has planning permission granted for 3000 houses! Right opposite a hospital too. They've already build next to hospital. It must be horrendous for the poor patients.

aonk Thu 22-Apr-21 11:52:41

I do have sympathy for the OP. The house next to us has just been renovated at enormous expense. It took about 7 months and IMO looks less attractive than before. The new neighbours are very young and I do admire them as they have made all their money through hard work. My DH is a construction engineer and he knows all the regulations. Noisy work isn’t allowed after midday on Saturday and not at all on Sunday. You can call your local council who can stop the work immediately for a month. We haven’t had many issues with the build next door but last year there were problems with the house down the road which stopped when my DH threatened to contact the council. When the work was finished they gave us a card, wine and flowers to apologise. My new neighbours instructed their workmen to consider the other households throughout and it seems to have worked well most of the time.
People have the right to make any changes to their houses they wish subject to planning consent but I do agree that it can be very disruptive.

Witzend Thu 22-Apr-21 12:33:38

Not particularly in our road, but around here just about every other small or very moderate sized house has had a loft conversion, or a kitchen extension, or both.

That’s because housing here is extremely expensive and it’s usually considerably cheaper to do this, as and when it can be afforded, than buy the bigger (unaffordable) house in the first place.

My dd and SiL bought a 1920s semi that was extremely dated, and had long ago been extended into the loft by the previous owner, so it’s not entirely a new thing.
However the downstairs space was still very limited so after a while they added a kitchen/diner extension, which has made the most enormous difference to the house. But they could never have afforded to buy a such a house at the time.

I dare say some GNers have been in the happy position of being able to buy more or less exactly the sort of house they wanted, but since houses are proportionately far more expensive than they were even a few decades ago, younger people often have to make do with what they can afford, and make improvement as and when they can.

Beswitched Thu 22-Apr-21 12:52:18

I agree but that's not really what I'm talking about. It's more about people who buy a house and, before they've even moved in, tear the entire house apart and almost completely rebuild it. If you have 3 or 4 houses on a road sold within a short space of time it can lead to massive upheaval and disturbance for the neighbours that goes on for several years.

People buying the best house they can afford and later extending the kitchen or converting the garage is entirely different.

Callistemon Thu 22-Apr-21 12:57:53

Location, location, location.

The house and location may be desirable but the layout may not be suitable for how we live today.
I've looked at downsizing to a bungalow and every single one I've seen online has a strange unworkable layout leaving me wondering just how it could be altered to make a home suitable for living in.

Witzend Thu 22-Apr-21 17:04:57

Too true, Callistemon.
The dd’s house I mentioned before is in a very good, very convenient location, including for a good primary school, which was certainly a consideration at the time. It was then at the limit of their budget but they could have bought a rather bigger house in a less ideal location for the same money.

OTOH if their house were transported to one of the ‘prime’, more central areas of the small city where they live, it would easily be worth 30% more and they could never have afforded it.
As always, unless you have very deep pockets, it’s a question of priorities.

Amberone Thu 22-Apr-21 17:13:33

Lots of people can afford to do all the changes before they move in so they can live in the house they want instead of gradually doing it up over time. When we move from here into (I hope) our final home I intend to do the same. After living for fourty years in houses that weren't quite what I wanted and needed changes over the years as we could afford it I can quite understand it.

When we were looking at new bathrooms one of the sales people told us that lots of people won't move into a house until they have new bathrooms, even if the house has been renovated and has had a new bathroom. That's something I don't understand.

boheminan Thu 22-Apr-21 18:20:54

Beswitched I'm with you on this. There's a huge difference between buying an old house, totally gutting it, trying to turn it into a new house, and buying a house and adding an extension/renovating.

geekesse Thu 22-Apr-21 19:48:41

You ask ‘Why is it acceptable...?’ Acceptable for whom? The fact that so many people choose to do this means that for them, it’s perfectly acceptable. The odd elderly neighbour moans and complains - clearly not acceptable for him or her. People are perfectly entitled to buy a property for renovation, and neighbours can object officially to plans when they apply for planning permission.

Witzend Thu 22-Apr-21 19:53:33

What upsets me most not far from us, is where some very nice, unpretentious, very good sized older house, that would have cost in the region of £2m+ anyway, is totally demolished to make way for an utterly ghastly, ostentatious WAG palace type of thing.
In what is supposed to be a conservation area. 🤬

Callistemon Thu 22-Apr-21 19:54:50

Witzend our house would be great for a family, school nearby etc, but, were I just 20 years younger, I'd be making some alterations to it.

Callistemon Thu 22-Apr-21 19:56:27

Witzend

What upsets me most not far from us, is where some very nice, unpretentious, very good sized older house, that would have cost in the region of £2m+ anyway, is totally demolished to make way for an utterly ghastly, ostentatious WAG palace type of thing.
In what is supposed to be a conservation area. 🤬

We visited a house in Sandbanks many years ago, a lovely house, but I expect it's been demolished now and some huge glass monstrosity is in its place.

Sara1954 Thu 22-Apr-21 20:00:34

We moved here to cut the travelling time to our daughters school. We looked for months, but couldn’t find anything we liked within our budget.
Eventually viewed this house although I knew it wasn’t big enough, fell in love with it, and set about extending it, and making quite a few alterations.
I would have preferred not to have had to, having gone through it all in our previous home, but we now have a home that suits us very well.
If you walk down the street there are always several major renovations going on, and in the next village almost every modest home has been turned into supersized mansion, one finishes and another one starts.

Beswitched Thu 22-Apr-21 21:04:08

geekesse

You ask ‘Why is it acceptable...?’ Acceptable for whom? The fact that so many people choose to do this means that for them, it’s perfectly acceptable. The odd elderly neighbour moans and complains - clearly not acceptable for him or her. People are perfectly entitled to buy a property for renovation, and neighbours can object officially to plans when they apply for planning permission.

Well that's the question I'm asking. Is it alright for one buyer after another to buy a house that no way suits their needs and then set up a building site on a residential road, with enormous inconvenience to the residents, to get it the way they want. And at what point does it become untenable? After the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th House in a row.

I'm not talking about what is legal, which often centres around what is profitable for those with vested interests and a strong lobbying group, but about what is decent, considerate and good citizenship. Including for 'the odd elderly neighbour', a demographic that obviously don't matter in your world.

geekesse Fri 23-Apr-21 08:13:48

So, Beswitched, did you object to planning permission for each of these projects?

Puzzler61 Fri 23-Apr-21 08:22:11

In short, unless it is listed property, it is acceptable to change everything about a property to suit your living style once it becomes yours.
You could move Beswitched to a living space designed for retired people and you would hopefully find less of the renovating activities going on.

Galaxy Fri 23-Apr-21 08:25:10

It would be less acceptable for people to object to someone changing the property they own after planning permission. That would be a horrific country to live in and would not be am example of good citizenship etc.

Franbern Fri 23-Apr-21 08:55:17

When I had my house on the market a couple of years back, I was quite astonished as to the number of would-be purchasers who came to look, talking about the major alterations they would make. It was a suitable house for a family - three bedrooms, plus large loft conversion, enclosed back garden, en-suite to main bedroom, long galley kitchen. Ground floor loo, etc. etc.

One very young couple who made an offer, which I accepted, then pulled out saying that the price meant they would not have anough money to carry out all their wished-for alterations before they actually moved in.

The people who did purchase it eventually, had a long private survey carried out - must have cost them a packet. After they moved, I realised that had obviously been a survey regarding all the changes they wanted immediately. When I went back to visit neighbours two months later, they had still not moved into the house, but builders had been in there throughout that time. Do wonder where these young couples find this sort of money!!!

Beswitched Fri 23-Apr-21 09:19:41

geekesse

So, Beswitched, did you object to planning permission for each of these projects?

I blame all these property programmes. People used to buy a house to live in, now they buy a'property', an 'investment' a 'project' and it's all about 'adding value'.

Beswitched Fri 23-Apr-21 09:21:29

Sorry geekesse no idea why I quoted you there. Re your question unfortunately, as I said upthread, neighbours can only object on specific grounds, not on the basis of noise and disruption and the fact that this is the third house in the past two years to be renovated.

Savvy Fri 23-Apr-21 10:12:21

I must admit when I look at the property website, the words 'recently renovated' make my heart sink. I know if I took on that property I'd be ripping out most of their renovations to get it back to near it's original state.

Most of these properties look awful after these renovations.

JaneJudge Fri 23-Apr-21 10:16:36

I blame all these house programs. There was a chap on a place in the sun yesterday who deducted the price of installing a pool off the purchase price and then wouldn't move as the vendor wouldn't knock the imaginary pool price off grin