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mpjfitz 07-14-2010 04:26 AM

UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions

A 'complaining' type neighbour has complained about my oven :confused:

He lives across the garden and has followed the build with interest through out. He even 'had' an invite to the grand opening :)

I did my research prior to building and confident it falls into the category of 'permitted development' which exempts it from building regulations and planning permission. He has complained to the local council and they sent one of their environmental people round. I showed him the oven he said it would be better if he could see the oven fired up so he could see the smoke. I then pointed out it was fired up and he smiled saying there was 'no smoke or smell'.

However, this has been a blow to moral :(

I was wondering if anyone has come across any similar situations and if you have any advice?

Thanks in advance


Alter ego 07-14-2010 02:52 PM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions

Did your neighbour come and talk to you first before he went to the local council to complain? What was his complaint? Smoke, doesn't like the look of it of it or just being vindictive?

I know that my oven doesn't comply with the local planning regulations as it is too close to the fence but I have really great neighbours on that side and they now use the oven almost as much as me. I have also been complicit when they have done things outside council regulations so I know that they are not likely to complain.

When I was building my oven I had one complaint from another neighbour a bit further away about the noise of my brick saw. She has a young baby, had had a bad night with the baby not sleeping and was sick on the noise. Because she came and spoke to me pleasantly I was only too happy to plan the remaining use of the saw when it suited her.

I know it is tempting to tell him to get stuffed and that your oven complies but I suggest that you go and talk to him, tell him how disappointed you are that he didn't talk to you about his problem (make him feel guilty) and see if you can do any small things that will make him happy (maybe all you will have to do is let him know when you are about to fire up your oven so he can close his windows)

Most of all stay pleasant and keep a diary note of when you spoke to him in case he keeps complaining to the council. Most councils hate people bringing them trivial complaints when they haven't even tried to sort it out with the neighbours first and are likely to side with you if your oven complies and you can demonstrate where you have tried to resolve any issue.


mpjfitz 07-14-2010 03:33 PM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
Thanks for the reply

It's all quite bizzare. He and his family have shown interest during the build. Often complementing the workmanship. They were all set for first pizza. During the build I told them that if they wanted me to stop using the brick-saw etc. Just let me know. They said everytime 'it's not a problem'. Now this!!!

I have spoken to him today. I'm quite easy going by nature. I asked him why he didn't speak to me at any time during the build if he had concerns etc. He didn't have an answer. When I proved to him today that the oven makes less smoke than the average BBQ he changed his story! He said the chimney pipe was too high. To be fair I didn't like the height either. So I have reduced it. I have even offered to build a trellis on top of the fencing to completely hide my oven from his view. He appeared slightly better with that, then changed his story again!!! Saying he will never be able to sell his house now!!!! I explained to him that the build conforms with all the regulations and even gave him the websites to check. He then began quoting completely made up regulations :)

The irony is that he has a pergula at the bottom of the garden that is a lot higher than the oven. Very crudely built as well.

He's a strange man. I'm pretty confident he is the sort to complain to every possible council department. The environment people have already been round and they were happy with the oven. But it's all hassle I could have done without and never expected :(

turkey 07-15-2010 01:58 AM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
reducing the chimney hight might make if fall foul of the regulations tho? isnt there a hight issue with relation to near by combustables, ie the fence ?

mpjfitz 07-15-2010 02:19 AM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
Thanks for the reply.

Yes there is environmental and fire issues that you need to take into consideration.

However, the chimney pipe was 2 meters tall. It's still is over one meter high and clears any fences etc easily.


Grimaldi 07-15-2010 04:05 AM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
Wood Fired Ovens make people brings out the green eyed monster :eek:

He is just making stuff up, it's all irrational.

DaveW 07-15-2010 04:39 AM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
Good thinking firing up the oven before the inspector came by. Did you remember to toss in a pizza and offer him a beer to wash it down?

jota112233 07-15-2010 01:20 PM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
Hi Mick

When I first decided to build an oven, I phoned and spoke with our local planning dept in Cardiff, when I explained what I was going to build, the chap said "like a big BBQ?" which I sort of agreed with. He said no probs, bit if I could send in details of wher I planned to build the oven in the garden, and they would write a letter of consent (or something like that)

Anyway, sent of a drawing of the oven, and where it would be situated in the garden - response came back to the effect that I WOULD need permission. I think this is because I live on a corner, and the oven may have been visible from the side road.

I've built it anyway..... but with a view to keeping the height of the oven below my fence (even if it means having to put the chimney on and off when using it.

I've been a bit worried about my retired neighbour who lives behind my house (he;s a really nice chap, but has far too much time on his hands) I took the plunge last week and invited him to see my progress (he seemed impressed) and actually I feel a bit better now that he knows.

Not really sure that this is answering your question, but just sharing my own experiences - there sems to be a lot of mis-information out there about lighting fires, and I guess it makes some people a bit jumpy.

how he thinks your oven would affect the sale of his house is bizarre. Was he thinking of moving?



mpjfitz 07-15-2010 02:18 PM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
Thanks for the reply.

He was saying that he might want to sell his house etc etc. As I resolved each of his gripes he'd make another one :)

I've contacted the council again and they said I'm ok.

I think he's just a horrible git and I'm expecting all-sorts of stuff coming my way


GianniFocaccia 07-15-2010 05:01 PM

Re: UK builders ... regulations and planning permissions
Perhaps you could bring a Council member round to s small pizza party and have a toast with him. Take your picture with him, even. I bet sharing the photo with the un-neighborly git would surely tone him down.

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