Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 16 Feb 2018
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: Ms X complains that a neighbour has encroached on her land and built over a pipe on her land. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because this is a private matter and any failure of the Council would not cause the injustice alleged to Ms X.
- Ms X complains that a neighbour has encroached on her land and built over a pipe on her land.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe:
- it is unlikely we would find fault, or
- the fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained.
(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered the complainant's comments and the Council's comments and Ms X has had an opportunity to comment on the draft decision.
What I found
- Ms X’s neighbour built an extension which she says encroached on her land and has built a pipe which extends into her garden. She says that this should not have been passed as part of the building regulations application for the extension.
- Building regulations relate to the integrity of a building rather than planning permission which relates to the impact of a building on neighbouring properties. However, neither permissions give a builder the right to build on land without the permission of the owner.
- So, whether or not the pipe and building should have received building regulation approval or planning permission, the issue here relates to building and development without ownership permission. This is therefore a private matter between Ms X and her neighbour.
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint. There is no evidence of alleged fault causing injustice. This is a private matter.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman