Newhaven residents wants new temporary classroom at Harbour Primary School to be pulled down after clerical error allows it to tower over his garden

Neighbour asks council to pull down classroom

Chris Baker and the new classroom that now overlooks his garden

Neighbour asks council to pull down classroom

First published in News
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A HOMEOWNER wants a council to tear down a new classroom block which towers over his garden after planning officers admitted they made a “typing error” in consultation documents.

Chris Baker, 31, of The Rose Walk, Newhaven, said the temporary classroom blocks the light into his back garden.

It was built on Tuesday after an application from Harbour Primary School to build a temporary block to take an influx of students.

But Mr Baker said the building is just five metres from his property – contradicting planning documents placing it 27 metres away.

Mr Baker said: “They said it would be 27 metres away in the consultation document I saw and we didn’t have an issue with that.

“But they started building it and I questioned what was going on and they admitted they made a typing error in the documents.

“It blocks light and is intrusive. An estate agent came to value the place and was told I’ve lost two to five percent of my house value.”

Planning documents show the building has been given permission to exist until September 2019 – more than five years.

They said: “The distance between the proposed mobile unit and the nearest property in The Rose Walk will be approximately 27 metres.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman admitted there had been a “clerical error”.

He said: “While this error is regrettable, the planning committee were provided with site photographs and copies of the plans showing the precise location and elevations of the mobile classroom, so they were aware of the proximity of properties in The Rose Walk.

“This was recognised in conditions attached to the planning permission aimed at minimising the impact on neighbouring properties, including the use of obscured glass on windows overlooking propertiesand a canopy covering the entrance to the classrooms.

“While we sympathise with Mr Baker, we believe this option was the best solution to accommodate an increased demand for school places in Newhaven.”

Comments (29)

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6:25am Fri 22 Aug 14

Fight_Back says...

I have to say, with that photo I can see where he's coming from. If any private citizen had built that so close to a boundary they would be forced to take it down. Hell, they even force people to take down small tree houses. Clearly a council that is "do as we say not as we do".
I have to say, with that photo I can see where he's coming from. If any private citizen had built that so close to a boundary they would be forced to take it down. Hell, they even force people to take down small tree houses. Clearly a council that is "do as we say not as we do". Fight_Back
  • Score: 136

6:31am Fri 22 Aug 14

albion seagull says...

Looks the the council used underhand tactics to get this pushed through without opposition by saying it would be 27 metres away from the property. One rule for normal citizens and one rule for councils. Disgraceful behaviour.
Looks the the council used underhand tactics to get this pushed through without opposition by saying it would be 27 metres away from the property. One rule for normal citizens and one rule for councils. Disgraceful behaviour. albion seagull
  • Score: 104

6:31am Fri 22 Aug 14

albion seagull says...

albion seagull wrote:
Looks the the council used underhand tactics to get this pushed through without opposition by saying it would be 27 metres away from the property. One rule for normal citizens and one rule for councils. Disgraceful behaviour.
Looks like that was meant to say.
[quote][p][bold]albion seagull[/bold] wrote: Looks the the council used underhand tactics to get this pushed through without opposition by saying it would be 27 metres away from the property. One rule for normal citizens and one rule for councils. Disgraceful behaviour.[/p][/quote]Looks like that was meant to say. albion seagull
  • Score: 25

6:49am Fri 22 Aug 14

well i never says...

I hope the builders add a staircase to the emergency exit., and some guards to the windows, preferably before the classroom is used. in fact the whole structure seems to be over hanging the retaining wall on two sides. meanwhile the likely hood of the property being devalued is being overplayed, the school was there in the first place, the large retaining wall was there also, the whole thing is seriously unfortunate, and the structure should be relocated, the council should be doing more than claiming a typo error. they could start by apologising and moving the struct sharpish as the new term starts soon.
I hope the builders add a staircase to the emergency exit., and some guards to the windows, preferably before the classroom is used. in fact the whole structure seems to be over hanging the retaining wall on two sides. meanwhile the likely hood of the property being devalued is being overplayed, the school was there in the first place, the large retaining wall was there also, the whole thing is seriously unfortunate, and the structure should be relocated, the council should be doing more than claiming a typo error. they could start by apologising and moving the struct sharpish as the new term starts soon. well i never
  • Score: 53

7:37am Fri 22 Aug 14

SimonS says...

I read this story expecting some moaning NIMBY, but I have to say, I completely agree with him. I hope being a temporary building (that will no doubt end up being permanent) it can be moved easily.
I read this story expecting some moaning NIMBY, but I have to say, I completely agree with him. I hope being a temporary building (that will no doubt end up being permanent) it can be moved easily. SimonS
  • Score: 73

7:41am Fri 22 Aug 14

one rule for one and one for another says...

I completely agree with Chris and feel the counil have not been honest and have not informed us of the over looking building that can stay there for up to 8 years...... I also live in the rose walk and have thw joy of waking up to this eye sore..... when the plans went ahead for the extensatio we were happy for the constant noise and interruption from the builders however we werent any point inform we would have a classroom in our back yards.... the whole expereince has been awful including builders consent comments towards females, damage to garden walls, fences and hedges.... such a shame
I completely agree with Chris and feel the counil have not been honest and have not informed us of the over looking building that can stay there for up to 8 years...... I also live in the rose walk and have thw joy of waking up to this eye sore..... when the plans went ahead for the extensatio we were happy for the constant noise and interruption from the builders however we werent any point inform we would have a classroom in our back yards.... the whole expereince has been awful including builders consent comments towards females, damage to garden walls, fences and hedges.... such a shame one rule for one and one for another
  • Score: 72

7:46am Fri 22 Aug 14

one rule for one and one for another says...

I completely agree with Chris and feel the counil have not been honest and have not informed us of the over looking building that can stay there for up to 8 years...... I also live in the rose walk and have the joy of waking up to this eye sore..... when the plans went ahead for the extension we were happy for the constant noise and interruption from the builders however we werent any point informed we would have a classroom in our back yards.... the whole expereince has been awful including builders consent comments towards females, damage to garden walls, fences and hedges.... its a joke really !
I completely agree with Chris and feel the counil have not been honest and have not informed us of the over looking building that can stay there for up to 8 years...... I also live in the rose walk and have the joy of waking up to this eye sore..... when the plans went ahead for the extension we were happy for the constant noise and interruption from the builders however we werent any point informed we would have a classroom in our back yards.... the whole expereince has been awful including builders consent comments towards females, damage to garden walls, fences and hedges.... its a joke really ! one rule for one and one for another
  • Score: 25

7:54am Fri 22 Aug 14

Peppers I says...

Fight_Back wrote:
I have to say, with that photo I can see where he's coming from. If any private citizen had built that so close to a boundary they would be forced to take it down. Hell, they even force people to take down small tree houses. Clearly a council that is "do as we say not as we do".
Completely agree. It wasn't long ago that we read in this paper about the small bicycle sheds in front gardens having to be removed in B&H. Yes a different council but they all play the fiddle to the same tune.
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: I have to say, with that photo I can see where he's coming from. If any private citizen had built that so close to a boundary they would be forced to take it down. Hell, they even force people to take down small tree houses. Clearly a council that is "do as we say not as we do".[/p][/quote]Completely agree. It wasn't long ago that we read in this paper about the small bicycle sheds in front gardens having to be removed in B&H. Yes a different council but they all play the fiddle to the same tune. Peppers I
  • Score: 51

8:05am Fri 22 Aug 14

SonnyJim55 says...

An absolute disgrace, yet another council running roughshod over peoples lives.
An absolute disgrace, yet another council running roughshod over peoples lives. SonnyJim55
  • Score: 51

8:20am Fri 22 Aug 14

Gary @ says...

Looks like his shed will provide cover for a sneaky fag as well.
Looks like his shed will provide cover for a sneaky fag as well. Gary @
  • Score: 8

8:38am Fri 22 Aug 14

Can this be says...

Unbelievable ESCC and if your Planning Committee approved it on correct information they should be taken to task as well. Does it imply that your Planning Committee simply approved it in the absence of Objections where potential objectors had false information? All very worrying.

Move it!
Unbelievable ESCC and if your Planning Committee approved it on correct information they should be taken to task as well. Does it imply that your Planning Committee simply approved it in the absence of Objections where potential objectors had false information? All very worrying. Move it! Can this be
  • Score: 32

8:43am Fri 22 Aug 14

clarkebrighton says...

If a Private Individual Builds a Matter of Inches NOT to Plan then
the council would be round in a Shot demanding the Building be
Demolished. I'm sorry but to have this Building which looks about
15 feet high 5 metres away, and not the Planned 27 metres is an
outrage. Once again the Council appears to ignore the law of the
Land.
If a Private Individual Builds a Matter of Inches NOT to Plan then the council would be round in a Shot demanding the Building be Demolished. I'm sorry but to have this Building which looks about 15 feet high 5 metres away, and not the Planned 27 metres is an outrage. Once again the Council appears to ignore the law of the Land. clarkebrighton
  • Score: 41

8:43am Fri 22 Aug 14

tooned_in says...

I wonder if the council will tear it down? individuals making property amendments that dont comply would be? or will the council compensate Chris his 2%-5%?
I wonder if the council will tear it down? individuals making property amendments that dont comply would be? or will the council compensate Chris his 2%-5%? tooned_in
  • Score: 23

8:48am Fri 22 Aug 14

25standard says...

I wonder if I made a "clerical error" on my building application and built a new extension that would be a god enough excuse? I THINK NOT! Pull it down and re-build, put it down to another c*ck up by the council. The cost will be absorbed by us, the tax payer....again!
I wonder if I made a "clerical error" on my building application and built a new extension that would be a god enough excuse? I THINK NOT! Pull it down and re-build, put it down to another c*ck up by the council. The cost will be absorbed by us, the tax payer....again! 25standard
  • Score: 36

8:55am Fri 22 Aug 14

HJarrs says...

The council now need to apply for retrospective planning permission. Accepting a "clerical error" sets a terrible precedent.

Perhaps the 8' extension I was planing should now become 8m? Sorry, clerical error!
The council now need to apply for retrospective planning permission. Accepting a "clerical error" sets a terrible precedent. Perhaps the 8' extension I was planing should now become 8m? Sorry, clerical error! HJarrs
  • Score: 27

9:23am Fri 22 Aug 14

PracticeNotTheories says...

If they don't put up stairs to the emergency exit, the building would not be fit for purpose. Would also be interesting to see the integrity of the retaining wall, as it was designed to support in a different way to having a structure on top of it.
May be worth getting health and safety involved, and have the building declared as unusable, which would make them more likely to move it.
Looking at maps of the school, there seem to be more viable locations for a temporary structure anyway, instead of losing their netball courts.
On the planning consent - if it was approved with an error in it, the approval should then be withdrawn and reconsidered. Who is to say the 'error' was not intentional? I would almost say it could be a fraud actually? Perhaps may be worth investigating that direction (or contacting your planning office and indicating you 'understand a fraud may have occurred' - they may suddenly be a lot more interested in avoiding some embarrassment?)
If they don't put up stairs to the emergency exit, the building would not be fit for purpose. Would also be interesting to see the integrity of the retaining wall, as it was designed to support in a different way to having a structure on top of it. May be worth getting health and safety involved, and have the building declared as unusable, which would make them more likely to move it. Looking at maps of the school, there seem to be more viable locations for a temporary structure anyway, instead of losing their netball courts. On the planning consent - if it was approved with an error in it, the approval should then be withdrawn and reconsidered. Who is to say the 'error' was not intentional? I would almost say it could be a fraud actually? Perhaps may be worth investigating that direction (or contacting your planning office and indicating you 'understand a fraud may have occurred' - they may suddenly be a lot more interested in avoiding some embarrassment?) PracticeNotTheories
  • Score: 30

9:27am Fri 22 Aug 14

Frank28 says...

Ask The Ombudsman if the amounts to maladministration.
Ask The Ombudsman if the amounts to maladministration. Frank28
  • Score: 22

10:37am Fri 22 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Tear the **** thing down, and sack the idiots responsible.
Tear the **** thing down, and sack the idiots responsible. notslimjim
  • Score: 23

11:21am Fri 22 Aug 14

Old Ale Man says...

If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation.
Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly.
If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation. Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly. Old Ale Man
  • Score: 13

12:38pm Fri 22 Aug 14

runnergirl says...

Unbelievable. Or rather, sadly, not. How ESCC can get away with this (and add a mawkish sentiment to the effect that 'We sympathise but now that we've done this, see how much it's in the public interest to keep it where it is and anyone disagreeing with us will look bad for not recognising the school's priority over that of the local residents') is beyond me. The Council would have known long before the building works were completed that the structure was not being built to permitted specification, and could have stopped it any time. The neighbours need to get together quickly to pursue legal action. The Ombudsman's office is a good resource but their processes are far too lengthy. Good luck to the residents of Rose Walk and I hope the Argus keeps a watching brief on this one.
Unbelievable. Or rather, sadly, not. How ESCC can get away with this (and add a mawkish sentiment to the effect that 'We sympathise but now that we've done this, see how much it's in the public interest to keep it where it is and anyone disagreeing with us will look bad for not recognising the school's priority over that of the local residents') is beyond me. The Council would have known long before the building works were completed that the structure was not being built to permitted specification, and could have stopped it any time. The neighbours need to get together quickly to pursue legal action. The Ombudsman's office is a good resource but their processes are far too lengthy. Good luck to the residents of Rose Walk and I hope the Argus keeps a watching brief on this one. runnergirl
  • Score: 15

12:42pm Fri 22 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

Old Ale Man wrote:
If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation.
Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly.
I'm not aware of a single instance where an Ombudsman supported the claim of a member of the public, so I would advise anyone who wishes to spare themselves years of stress arguing against an Ombudsman not to contact them.
[quote][p][bold]Old Ale Man[/bold] wrote: If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation. Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly.[/p][/quote]I'm not aware of a single instance where an Ombudsman supported the claim of a member of the public, so I would advise anyone who wishes to spare themselves years of stress arguing against an Ombudsman not to contact them. notslimjim
  • Score: -2

12:45pm Fri 22 Aug 14

lindaf says...

Disgraceful ...pull it down!!!
Disgraceful ...pull it down!!! lindaf
  • Score: 13

12:47pm Fri 22 Aug 14

9 of us says...

Ouch!!
I know this site provides opportunities for us all to express our opinions but some of the spelling on here is worthy of a medal.
Great sheds btw.
Ouch!! I know this site provides opportunities for us all to express our opinions but some of the spelling on here is worthy of a medal. Great sheds btw. 9 of us
  • Score: 0

7:30pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Hove Actually says...

Wait till September and then start learning the trumpet in your shed
Wait till September and then start learning the trumpet in your shed Hove Actually
  • Score: 9

11:53pm Fri 22 Aug 14

Valentinian says...

I am sure that the Council would allow anyone else to get away with a typo like that..l I was in my " rainfall catchment tank" reading this earlier...doing lengths, and thought " how lucky am I ...saved a bloody fortune on planning permission for this and the " conservatory...that sleeps 4" lol.... Money and seclusion...and judicious planting and camouflaging from Google! Hahaha
I am sure that the Council would allow anyone else to get away with a typo like that..l I was in my " rainfall catchment tank" reading this earlier...doing lengths, and thought " how lucky am I ...saved a bloody fortune on planning permission for this and the " conservatory...that sleeps 4" lol.... Money and seclusion...and judicious planting and camouflaging from Google! Hahaha Valentinian
  • Score: 4

1:13pm Sat 23 Aug 14

pte says...

notslimjim wrote:
Old Ale Man wrote:
If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation.
Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly.
I'm not aware of a single instance where an Ombudsman supported the claim of a member of the public, so I would advise anyone who wishes to spare themselves years of stress arguing against an Ombudsman not to contact them.
You would first have to go to the local MP (good luck there) before an application to the Ombusdman is allowed. If you were to go to the Ombudsman I think that would bar a legal application so that threat would be removed from the Council. Legal claims are costly and unless the householder is a Freemason I don't think a judge will be too bothered by what's happened. I don't think an MP will do anything because he wont want to be seen as acting against a community interest (the school) as there are no votes in it.

Hard to know what can be done as the school hasn't done anything wrong it's the Council's mistake so they can't withdraw permission without affecting the rights of the school. The council to cover themselves are saying they would have granted planning permission whatever even if the residents knew and put in an objection.

Heads you lose and tails you don't win, so basically he's up a gumtree, unfortunately
[quote][p][bold]notslimjim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Old Ale Man[/bold] wrote: If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation. Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly.[/p][/quote]I'm not aware of a single instance where an Ombudsman supported the claim of a member of the public, so I would advise anyone who wishes to spare themselves years of stress arguing against an Ombudsman not to contact them.[/p][/quote]You would first have to go to the local MP (good luck there) before an application to the Ombusdman is allowed. If you were to go to the Ombudsman I think that would bar a legal application so that threat would be removed from the Council. Legal claims are costly and unless the householder is a Freemason I don't think a judge will be too bothered by what's happened. I don't think an MP will do anything because he wont want to be seen as acting against a community interest (the school) as there are no votes in it. Hard to know what can be done as the school hasn't done anything wrong it's the Council's mistake so they can't withdraw permission without affecting the rights of the school. The council to cover themselves are saying they would have granted planning permission whatever even if the residents knew and put in an objection. Heads you lose and tails you don't win, so basically he's up a gumtree, unfortunately pte
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Sat 23 Aug 14

notslimjim says...

pte wrote:
notslimjim wrote:
Old Ale Man wrote:
If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation.
Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly.
I'm not aware of a single instance where an Ombudsman supported the claim of a member of the public, so I would advise anyone who wishes to spare themselves years of stress arguing against an Ombudsman not to contact them.
You would first have to go to the local MP (good luck there) before an application to the Ombusdman is allowed. If you were to go to the Ombudsman I think that would bar a legal application so that threat would be removed from the Council. Legal claims are costly and unless the householder is a Freemason I don't think a judge will be too bothered by what's happened. I don't think an MP will do anything because he wont want to be seen as acting against a community interest (the school) as there are no votes in it.

Hard to know what can be done as the school hasn't done anything wrong it's the Council's mistake so they can't withdraw permission without affecting the rights of the school. The council to cover themselves are saying they would have granted planning permission whatever even if the residents knew and put in an objection.

Heads you lose and tails you don't win, so basically he's up a gumtree, unfortunately
"You would first have to go to the local MP (good luck there) before an application to the Ombusdman is allowed."

Incorrect.

Anyone can contact an Ombudsman without having first contacted their MP.

http://www.financial
-ombudsman.org.uk/co
nsumer/complaints.ht
m

No mention of having to contact your MP first.

HTH
[quote][p][bold]pte[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]notslimjim[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Old Ale Man[/bold] wrote: If the estate agent has stated that there is a 2 too 5% lower valuation on the house, then as I see it thats a blight on the property and should be paid out in compesation to the owner. The owner must talk to his . He has a good case for compensation. Also as has been sugested, go to the ombudsman, imeadiatly.[/p][/quote]I'm not aware of a single instance where an Ombudsman supported the claim of a member of the public, so I would advise anyone who wishes to spare themselves years of stress arguing against an Ombudsman not to contact them.[/p][/quote]You would first have to go to the local MP (good luck there) before an application to the Ombusdman is allowed. If you were to go to the Ombudsman I think that would bar a legal application so that threat would be removed from the Council. Legal claims are costly and unless the householder is a Freemason I don't think a judge will be too bothered by what's happened. I don't think an MP will do anything because he wont want to be seen as acting against a community interest (the school) as there are no votes in it. Hard to know what can be done as the school hasn't done anything wrong it's the Council's mistake so they can't withdraw permission without affecting the rights of the school. The council to cover themselves are saying they would have granted planning permission whatever even if the residents knew and put in an objection. Heads you lose and tails you don't win, so basically he's up a gumtree, unfortunately[/p][/quote]"You would first have to go to the local MP (good luck there) before an application to the Ombusdman is allowed." Incorrect. Anyone can contact an Ombudsman without having first contacted their MP. http://www.financial -ombudsman.org.uk/co nsumer/complaints.ht m No mention of having to contact your MP first. HTH notslimjim
  • Score: 2

11:37am Mon 25 Aug 14

non pedalling pete says...

Gary @ wrote:
Looks like his shed will provide cover for a sneaky fag as well.
If you think your council is bad come and live in York.
[quote][p][bold]Gary @[/bold] wrote: Looks like his shed will provide cover for a sneaky fag as well.[/p][/quote]If you think your council is bad come and live in York. non pedalling pete
  • Score: 0

11:40am Mon 25 Aug 14

non pedalling pete says...

SonnyJim55 wrote:
An absolute disgrace, yet another council running roughshod over peoples lives.
Sorry ment to quote this.York council is a joke
[quote][p][bold]SonnyJim55[/bold] wrote: An absolute disgrace, yet another council running roughshod over peoples lives.[/p][/quote]Sorry ment to quote this.York council is a joke non pedalling pete
  • Score: 0

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