Fury as millionaire neighbour plans big 'shipping container' extension

Trouble in paradise: Homeowners’ fury as millionaire neighbours plan huge extension that looks like a ‘shipping container’ that will block their sea view

  • EXCLUSIVE: Opponents have described the new extension as a monstrous thing 

Householders on a seaside town’s ‘Millionaires Row’ are pleading with two new residents to scale back bungalow extension plans because the ‘shipping container’ like structure will spoil their fresh sea view. 

Seven householders in the road in Torquay, which has stunning sea views across Tor Bay, have signed a letter to Jennifer Jones and Lorraine Giblin asking them to reconsider their project – even though it already has planning permission.

The letter concludes: Your consideration would be more than appreciated to keep this a friendly area to live, which it has been for many years.

‘Sorry to say this is upsetting and very stressful for many neighbours surrounding you.’

Opponents have described the flat roof metal and glass extension with balcony as a ‘monstrous thing’ and ‘akin to a shipping container’.

Householders on a seaside town’s ‘Millionaires Row’ are pleading with two new residents to scale back their bungalow extension plans

Opponents have described the flat roof metal and glass extension with balcony as a ‘monstrous thing’ and ‘akin to a shipping container’

Seven householders in Torquay’s ‘Millionaires Row’, which has stunning sea views across Tor Bay, have signed a letter asking them to reconsider their project

Dr John Speake and his wife Angela both oppose the plans vigorously 

They say Torbay Council planning officers made inaccurate statements and refused to accept their evidence, including a specially-commissioned £3,000 3-D scale model of the bungalow and surrounding properties.

One couple claim that, once built, the extension will allow ‘open views’ into their bedroom while another said the applicants had ‘turned themselves into pariahs of the neighbourhood.’

Torbay Council insists that its planning committee was given full information, visited the controversial site, listened to representations and followed all governance rules.

Among those who have signed the letter to Ms Jones and Ms Giblin is their next-door neighbour, Dr John Speake.

He told Mail Online: ‘It’s the appearance of what’s proposed, the proximity – a vertical block right by one of our windows.

‘There were several errors in the planning officers’ report. For instance, they claimed the extension was going to be built further back than is the case.

‘A group of us had a model made precisely to scale by a professional company to show exactly how it would look. But the council wouldn’t allow us to present it.

‘I’ve signed the letter as a last hope. What else can we do? They have planning permission.’

Neighbours fear their sea views will soon be spoiled by the extension

In his formal objection Dr Speake wrote: ‘I concede that the addition of a balcony on the upper level would give a commanding view over Torbay.

‘From the east side it would also give a commanding view into our living room.

‘Al fresco living in such an idyllic area of Torbay is welcome but the proximity of the side of the balcony to our living room could make noise an unwelcome intrusion into our daily life.’

The neighbour who wrote and organised the letter, 80-year-old Clive Jones, said the extension would destroy peoples’ privacy and partially block sea views.

In a passionate plea to Ms Jones and Ms Giblin, headed YOUR NEIGHBOURS COLLECTIVE LETTER FOR CONSIDERATION ON YOUR PLANNING APPLICATION, he writes: ‘I have been requested by several neighbours in front of you and both sides and rear of your property to request you look at your accepted planning of your flat roof and the affect it will have on our homes.

‘My wife and I personally have lived at the rear of your property for 36 years and this will block our view up to 80% and to the right side of us by some 40% including our privacy as the complete back of our house is all glass making open views to our bedroom, living room and conservatory/kitchen.

‘Each side of you privacy will be lost, there are many residents against your planning application and their signatures attached confirm their concern with scaffolding going up for many months and builders looking into our houses and the disruption on the road with access and the grass verges being destroyed as obviously there is not enough space on your driveway to facilitate the many vans coming and going during this project and we understand you will be moving out during this period so it won’t concern you.

‘You are very welcome to visit our homes directly behind you…to see exactly what stress this will cause us.’

The road, in Torquay’s Wellswood district, has long been known as Millionaires’ Row among locals

The area has stunning views across the English Riveria and property there is very sought after 

He told Mail Online: ‘The extension they want is horrendous. It’s akin to a shipping container.’

Another neighbour, Kevin Salter,61, who won the British Empire Medal while serving with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in the 1st Gulf War, said he would be looking out on a ‘huge black metal box’ once the extension was in place.

‘It will be a monstrous thing,’ he said. ‘We had our model built partly because we knew a member of the planning committee was blind and we thought this would assist her.

‘To refuse to let us present it was appalling.’

And resident David Wilson, 65, who owns a property letting and development company, said: ‘It’s all very sad.

‘The bungalow’s owners have turned themselves into pariahs of the neighbourhood.

‘Part of my work involves project-managing extensions. They will spend over £250,000 on this one and they’ll never re-coup that when they sell because it will look awful and is on an already over-developed site.’

The road, in Torquay’s Wellswood district, has long been known as Millionaires’ Row among locals.

According to property agents Zoopla, ten of the 18 homes sold there since 2015 have topped £1 million.

Ms Jones and Ms Giblin bought their bungalow, built in the 1970s, two years ago. Land Registry records show they paid £785,000.

They declined to comment when approached by Mail Online.

A report by Torbay Council’s planning department stated that their proposal ‘would not result in unacceptable harm to the character or visual amenities of the locality.’

It added: ‘Although the scale and bulk of the development would result in additional bulk to the dwelling, it would not be considered to have a material impact on the loss of light or outlook to neighbours.’

A spokesperson for the Council said: ‘Members of the committee made their decision after being given full information about all the issues relating to the application in a report, with further details provided in answers to questions at the committee meeting.

‘The committee members visited the site, and they also heard representations at the meeting. Our governance rules were followed throughout the process.

‘The 3D model was discussed before and during the meeting. Only electronic images can accompany a registered speaker’s presentation.

‘This is set out in the Local Code of Good Practice for planning in the council’s constitution.’

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