Pensioners' battle over new housing development

Christine and Geoff Smith are concerned a new house will overshadow their back garden
Christine and Geoff Smith are concerned a new house will overshadow their back garden
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A Sheffield couple fear a new housing development will tower over their home and overshadow their back garden.

Pensioners Christine and Geoff Smith, who have lived at Prince of Wales Road for 46 years, will overlook the new Prince’s Garden development of 268 new homes.

Sheffield Council says the new homes meet planning regulations but the couple say one particular house which is being built next to their home will be too close and too high, blocking their light.

Mr Smith, who is 71, said: “When we first heard they were going to start building, we went to a consultation to have a look at the plans. We gave our comments about how close the house near ours looked and that it would be taking all our light. We sent in an objection but apparently there is no record of this.

“Before the footings were put in, we informed Sheffield Housing Company and the council’s planning department that the house would tower over us.

“After months of emails and phone calls saying the house is too close at 3m from our fence, the building work has started. We then found out they are raising the ground which makes it even more of an eyesore. The side of a four-bed house will go the full length of our back garden so we will be left looking at a wall 25ft high.”

Mr and Mrs Smith say since they complained, work on the new home has happened very quickly. Mr Smith added: “The house already has its footings, ground floor and brick work and we feel no one is listening. We are disabled pensioners and our garden means a lot to us, some days it is as far as we can get.”

Sheffield Council says it held a consultation event in March 2016 and received “very few” objections to the planning application.

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for planning and development, said: “The house on Prince of Wales Drive is being built as part of the Sheffield Housing Company initiative to create over 2,000, high quality, much needed new homes of all tenures across the city and is at a very similar location to the one that was demolished in 2008.

“The homeowners did not register any formal objections to the plans however, in view of their more recent complaint, our enforcement team has been out to site to check. The build, which has full planning approval, is in accordance with the approved plans.

“This, together with reference to architects drawings and site plans shows clearly that the development is being constructed in accordance with planning requirements, which have very specific regulations governing issues such as overlooking, height and distance to existing properties.”