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Annoyed by new neighbour's lack of respect for the street

  • 18-09-2021 5:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭ SwordofLight

    Hi All,

    I live on a busy street adjacent to a main road, and there has been a refurbishment happening next door over the past 6 months. A few days ago, they knocked out the front living room window and installed a door on to the street. It is a second door, the other one is into their hallway. It is pretty obvious they intend to split it into two flats with their own front door entrances.

    There was never any planning for this. I checked the local city planning notices. They have had it done over about a day very quickly. It changes the look of the street as there are three front doors in a row now instead of a front door window front door window etc etc. It also annoys me that they have been allowed to do this.

    I am afraid to say anything to the council as it is a small enough community here but the effect will be fewer parking spaces to go around on the road and it is difficult enough already to get a space, and it probably opens the door to all sorts of messing.

    Any advice? Is it legal to do this? Should I stay quiet? The council are a joke here anyway (Limerick).



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,120 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble

    A door requires a carpark?

  • Registered Users Posts: 371 ✭✭ SupaCat95

    No it doesn't but you had to get planning permission and allow people assess it and allow for reasonable objections. You have to get planning permission even to convert a garage. You shouldnt have to but its people like the new neighbours above that cause problems for everyone. It could be a lot worse and count your blessing OP, it could be the travelling cousins and their ilk.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,209 ✭✭✭ endofrainbow

    Council won't act on anonymity.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,484 ✭✭✭ xhomelezz

    It changes the look of the street as there are three front doors in a row now instead of a front door window front door window etc etc. 

    Any change must be disturbing on your street.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    There probably adding a granny flat.

    I don't understand how adding a second door shows lack of respect for the street?

    Like its just a door where a wall used to be.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,385 ✭✭✭✭ elperello

    Write to the Enforcement Section of the Planning Department in your local authority.

    Explain that you consider there has been unauthorised development and give a brief description.

    They will be obliged to investigate.

    You need not worry about signing the letter and giving your full address. It will not appear in any public file and your identity will not be disclosed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,806 ✭✭✭ CollyFlower

    What sort of house is it, Is it attached or are they independent of other homes?

  • Registered Users Posts: 73,763 ✭✭✭✭ Atlantic Dawn

    Send an email from a burner email account to the council and cc every single councillor who is elected in the area, things will be done.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭ SwordofLight

    I had a better look today and they've actually raised the street cobblestones up like a ramp to meet their inside floor level, which is a bit of a trip hazard for pedestrians.

    I don't think the council will do anything. People park on double yellows here for days without penalty, the Christmas lights have been left up and on since last on the main streets, lads tear down one way streets on bikes and mopeds shouting randomly at people and the guards do nowt.. I could go on. Such a small city you would think they'd have an easier job to do. No doubt they'll share it with the new neighbour that I objected, is it worth the risk of retailation? Probably not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,279 ✭✭✭ mrslancaster

    Council wont disclose who makes a complaint to the enforcement section. My niece bought a house with a satellite dish on the front - not allowed without PP - and someone reported it. No information about who contacted the council and she thinks it was made about the previous owner but she was responsible for getting it removed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,383 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    Correct, those days are long gone, in fact local authorities have introduced quite stringent procedures in relation to reporting alledged unauthorised developments which absolutely require the persons reporting, Details, Address and contact information. My own lists quite clearly what is required and go further by saying they will not investigate reports without full contact details of the person reporting.

    This said, local authority will not disclose any information of those making a complaint.

    I'm assuming this approach to weed out spurious complaints.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 850 ✭✭✭ wildwillow

    Could they be making a wheelchair accessible entrance and the hallway is too narrow?

    Still need planning permission for any changes to the front facade and definitely to the path if it’s not their property.

    Either talk to the roads section or to the planning department of the local council.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,028 ✭✭✭ Lantus

    Altering a public path is a definite no. Just submit the letter.

    You wouldn't want someone to trip up on said path and get an injury which could lead to a claim. I doubt they have even considered that.

    It's not just the front door. There are multiple requirements for making 2 separate properties like fire separation. Utilities etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,368 ✭✭✭ JimmyVik

    I moved a gate post once by a foot and the council were on it like a shot. Had to put it back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,209 ✭✭✭ endofrainbow

    Another reason the council won't entertain anonymous reports is if it eventually goes to court.

    while a complainant's  name won't be revealed, information can be sought under FOI Act and whilst details will be redacted, it's a process of elimination as to who reported the breach.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,681 ✭✭✭ coolbeans

    If you're not prepared to report then you shouldn't really complain. The Endowment section will take your details but are obligated to keep them confidential. The only way Enforcement action can take place is on foot of a complaint.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,681 ✭✭✭ coolbeans

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,543 ✭✭✭ De Bhál

    fcuk that though, I have scumbag neighbours around the back from our house. They've put in stuff without planning, a granny flat, family living in it, chimney and all. No way I'm complaining unless it's anonymous.

    Chances are in a city this size (Dublin) yer man knows someone in the council. He's a cowboy builder so would have, I imagine, some connections in the Dublin City council.

    This country is too small to be making complaints against people like this when you have to live next to them potentially for the rest of your life.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,383 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    I completely agree , I can't comment on the rights and wrongs of local authorities introducing stringent reporting guidelines but clearly there was a lot of spurious and unsubstantiated complaints being lodged, clogging up planning departments.

    I can say, right across the road from me a 70's style bungalow has just been tripled in size and roof raised by 10 feet. Absolutely no planning Lodge (confirmed) , I believe reports lodged and its a very proactive local authority. Will anything be done, that's an open question, personally I feel the restoration looks excellent, does this mean it's acceptable without planning, No but like yourself, I'm not getting involved ,it's a very rural location. If a local Authority can't see an unauthorised development like this and not ask questions, there is seriously something wrong (the property in full view from a main road )

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,946 ✭✭✭✭ Cuddlesworth

    In a lot of other places building work is checked and enforced, usually in phases. In Ireland, its not. Also, enforcement is a joke here when it does happen. I can think of a few property's with demolition orders on them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,373 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    You said you're annoyed they were allowed to do this, but that they didn't get permission. Which is it? I'm guessing they weren't actually allowed. In which case council probably don't know yet.

    Not sure why you mention garage. But you're mistaken, you don't need permission to convert a garage subject to reasonable comditions

    Nonsense. That applies where they have to investigate on private property. If council know it is unauthorised, they have act on it. They don't need anyone to assign an complaint to. It's unauthorised development, if they know it happened, its literally their job to get involved. They can commence enforcement on their own.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,383 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    Correct and in normal practice any authorised developments are subject to checks and sign off, the problem in Ireland from what I can see is it appears to be pure luck if an authority happens to spot something untoward or if the development affects a utility or other service.

    I've no doubt authorities do act on legitimate complaints and reports, I just suspect the process of reporting turns concerned people off.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,373 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    If you're aren't going to let council know about it. Then you can't complain that they didn't do anything.

    None of those issues you mentioned have anything to do with the planning department.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,383 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    I think the point raised involves a private property and therefore local authorities won't act anonymity. Whilst I agree councils will act "if they Know" a development is unauthorised, the crux of the problem is how do they know exactly, perhaps an Eagle eyed local authority employee stops it, I can't say but the fact remains and perstainent to the original OP , No action or investigation will commence based on anonymity, the matter remains heresay so to speak .

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 37,373 ✭✭✭✭ Mellor

    All planning permission involved private property. That's not relevant at all. The vast majority major enforcement actions have been the council acting themselves. By the logic above, a group of neighbors could all collectively agree to build without planning and not complained on each other to evade the process. Good luck with that.As for how who the could know. A simple photograph of the street would show the unauthorized development in progress, at that point it's black and white. There is is no hearsay, their is a publicly accessible record of planning. A planner could confirm in seconds. There is no grey area.

    What you are thinking of is where somebody had permission to build 20 feet high, and a neighbour says they build 22 feet. Or they are building an exempt development, an a neighbour claims the area is too high. In that cases you can't tell from a photo, it's entirely in a grey area. They they need to investigate and take measurements. And they want a name in order to avoid people making spurious claims in order to "check" the neighbours work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,383 ✭✭✭✭ Dempo1

    I again refer you to the matter at hand, lodging a complaint about an alledged unauthorised development and the processes involved.

    I'm fully aware of of planning laws, obligations , these are an entirely separate matter.

    Is maith an scáthán súil charad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 371 ✭✭ SupaCat95

    Not an architect or anything but I was looking at converting a garage but it was more complex than that. It was converting a garage into a one bedroom apartment and building over it. I was told I would need planning permission for that. In the end there were very deep flaws in the house and we abandoned the purchase. Open to correction here.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 993 ✭✭✭ db

    That's quite a bit different than just converting a garage. What makes you think you should be able to build a new apartment without permission?