St Albans pensioner's privacy fears over extension to neighbour's kitchen

Tessa Alexander by her kitchen with plans by the neighbours to extend the rear of their property by 8 feet

Tessa Alexander by her kitchen with plans by the neighbours to extend the rear of their property by 8 feet

Archant

A pensioner is concerned for her 'quality of life' following planning approval for an extension next door.

Tessa Alexander, 81, of Jenkins Avenue, Bricket Wood, has lived at her property for more than 30 years but is very concerned that her home will be affected by a neighbour’s extension, approved by council planning officers on Monday (8).

The planning application states the owners want to build a single storey side and rear extension with roof lights.

Tessa believes that this will block the light to her kitchen. She said: “My kitchen will be like the black hole of Calcutta.”

She continued: “We’re so close together it’s a joke. An eight foot extension- how can they allow this?

“It’s not fair. It’s going to change my quality of life.”

Tessa is also concerned that windows in the new building will be an invasion of her privacy.

She added: “They’re going to be able to see right into my kitchen. Even if I don’t want to run around naked I still want my privacy.”

St Stephen parish council shares Tessa’s concern. On the parish council’s planning list Cllr Dorothy Kerry wrote: “We have great concern that the flank wall will be overbearing and cause a substantial loss of light to the kitchen area…We would urge the planning officer to carry out a site visit to view just how close the wall will be to the kitchen window.”

Tessa has criticised the council after a planning officer agreed to contact her again before the decision was made, but failed to do so.

She continued: “Someone came to visit last Thursday and he said that he’d be in touch. I asked him if he had my number and he didn’t- how was he supposed to get in touch?

“I wasn’t even made aware about the decision until I saw it online myself.”

A St Albans district council spokesperson said: “Ms Alexander’s online objections to the single storey rear extension were taken into account and the issues fully discussed in the case officer’s report available on our website.

“It was considered that the proposals complied with policy and there were no sustainable planning reasons to justify a refusal.

“The decision was made late on Monday and she was informed the following morning.”

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