Dacorum Borough Council (23 003 238)

Category : Planning > Planning applications

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 25 Jun 2023

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about planning permission granted by the Council because there is no evidence of fault causing injustice.

The complaint

  1. Mr X says that the Council granted planning permission for a balcony to a neighbour who can now see into his property.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide:
  • there is not enough evidence of fault to justify investigating, or
  • any fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained, or
  • any injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement..

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by the @complainant @and the Council.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Mr X’s neighbour, who lives opposite him (with a road in between) applied for, and received planning permission, for extending his existing balcony. Mr X says that this causes an invasion of his privacy.
  2. The Planning Officer noted that, whilst the balcony would permit a view of the front of Mr X’s house, the new balcony would not permit any greater views of Mr X’s house than were available for any person on the road.
  3. I am satisfied that Mr X’s amenity was considered by the Council and there is no fault in the way the planning application was determined. Mr X's dissatisfaction lies with the merits of the Council's decision but, in the absence of fault, the Ombudsman cannot criticise the Council's decision.
  4. Further, I am not persuaded that, given the distance involved, that any significant injustice has been caused to Mr X were there to have been fault by the Council.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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