Judge slaps ban on bungalow that would have ruined neighbours’ view of the moors

The view from Eldwick on to Baildon Moor. Picture: Google Maps
The view from Eldwick on to Baildon Moor. Picture: Google Maps
2
Have your say

A YORKSHIRE maths professor and his doctor wife have won a court order blocking a neighbour from building work which they said would ruin their view of the moors.

Prof Geoffrey Tupholme said the planned bungalow would kill the ‘serene ambience’ of the secluded cul-de-sac where they live in Eldwick, near Bingley.

They and five other neighbours went to court in a bid to stop Ian Firth from erecting the building in the garden of his home in Heather View.

And they are now celebrating after Judge John Behrens said the proposed building work was a breach of a restriction on houses in the cul-de-sac causing ‘annoyance’ to others.

The decision at Leeds County Court means Mr Firth’s hopes of adding the bungalow to his garden in well-to-do Heather View have been wrecked.

Prof Tupholme was joined by his wife, Dr Anne Tupholme, and neighbours Brenda Newby, Arnold and Joan Parker, and James and Linda Howard in the action.

They pointed to a ‘restrictive covenant’, a clause inserted when the houses were built in the 1970s, which bans them being used in a way which would cause annoyance to others.

In evidence, the neighbours said a central objection to the bungalow was the effect it would have on views from their homes, some of which are worth about £700,000.

‘The proposed development would block the extensive easterly and south-easterly views to the moors and to distant skyline,’ Prof Tupholme told the judge.

Describing views as a ‘great source of pleasure and satisfaction’, Mr Parker, 79, added: ‘The first thing I do on rising each morning is to look out through our bedroom corridor window at Baildon Moor and enjoy the lovely uninterrupted view.

‘I have known and enjoyed Baildon Moor since a boy and to have my view of it blocked by a cheap-spec bungalow, shoehorned into an inadequate site and totally out of keeping with the other expensive Yorkshire Stone and Yorkshire Slate-roofed properties, does not bear thinking about.’

And despite being unable to attend, 89-year-old Mrs Newby wrote: ‘Any building such as that proposed would dramatically transform the street scene from its highly attractive rural setting to one of depressing suburbia.’

Mr Firth said he originally obtained planning permission in 2011 to build the bungalow within the grounds of his home.

He said the density of buildings in the cul-de-sac would be the same if the bungalow was added and said it would not be overbearing as it would sit low in the site.

He added: ‘In so far as views are concerned, firstly there is no right to a view.’

Before delivering judgment, Judge Behrens visited the site and viewed the area from several directions before coming to a decision.

He said: ‘I am quite satisfied that a reasonable person having regard to the ordinary use of number 1 [Prof Tupholme’s house] for pleasurable enjoyment would be annoyed and aggrieved by the new building.

‘It is so close to the boundary that it significantly detracts from the views to the south from the lounge, the first floor bedrooms and from the garden itself.

‘I also accept that it will block sunlight entering the south of the garden far more than the existing hedge and the three birch trees.’

He continued: ‘I am equally satisfied that reasonable persons as owners of numbers 4 [the Parkers] and 5 [the Howards] would be annoyed by the reduction of their views.

‘Whilst it is true that each of these properties are orientated to the south, each has views to the east and south east over Baildon Moor which will be significantly impaired.’

That meant the development would be a breach of the covenant, he ruled.

The decision means the neighbours are entitled to enforce the covenant in order to stop the proposed work.