News At Ten's Tom Bradby will have to live with his curtains closed

'Shadow Dancer' Premiere - London

Tom Bradby, best-known for presenting the News at Ten, is outraged at a proposal to build new houses near his £1 million property in Houghton, Hampshire - and wrote to his council to complain. He called the homes an 'absolute abomination', and insisted that if they were built he would never be able to open his curtains.

His furious outburst against the proposals was written in a letter to Test Valley Borough Council's director of planning, Paul Jackson. He said he was worried about the proposal to build six houses on the site, saying it "would be tantamount to saying you can build whatever you like wherever you like, even in the heart of rural England".

He added that one of the houses would be build directly opposite his bedroom. Given that he and his wife live in a converted bungalow, the windows upstairs are low, which would give the neighbours ringside seats to everything that went on in their bedroom. He added that traffic driving to and from the new build would shine their headlights directly into the room.

According to the Daily Mail, the council weighed up all the arguments, and recommended to the planning committee that the new scheme be approved. However, Bradby said that if permission was granted, he would take his appeal to the Secretary of State, so we will have to see what happens next.

Planning issues

Bradby may be in for a bit of a battle, but he can take some comfort from the fact that he is not the only celebrity to have been embroiled in a planning row

We reported back in May that Bake Off's Sue Perkins had objected to her neighbour's plans to build a bungalow in her back garden, and then move into it. The presenter pointed out that this would kick off a free-for-all of property development on any spare bit of lawn in pricey Hampstead.

Just weeks earlier Broadchurch actress Eve Myes was ordered to tear down the seven foot fence at the front of her Cardiff home. She'd built it without realising she needed planning permission (because it is in a conservation area), and when she applied retrospectively the neighbours complained and she was ordered to demolish it.

Three years ago Bear Grylls installed a slide on a cliff face on an island he owns of the coast of North Wales. Local councillors were said to have been concerned about safety, and about the fact he didn't have permission to fix anything to the cliff face. He removed it a month later, saying he'd only put it up for the summer anyway.

In 2012, Colin Firth was refused permission to install a solar panel on his house in Chiswick, London. Apparently the council didn't feel the environmental benefits were worth the visual damage done to the listed building.

And a year earlier, Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour was in trouble over a yellow beach hut he built in his drive in Hove, for the family to store their bikes in. The council initially demanded he demolish it, but relented when he agreed to make it lower.

Nightmare neighbours
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Nightmare neighbours

Gerard and Christina White from Moseley in Birmingham hit the headlines in September last year, when their neighbour ignored his planning permission, and built so close to their house that they said it effectively turned their detached property into a semi-detached one.

Despite the fact it left them unable to maintain the side of their property, the council washed their hands of the case, and said the couple would have to take private legal action if they wanted the extension to be pulled down.

Helen Coughlan, a 52-year-old carer from Woodford Bridge in north east London, was stunned when her neighbours built an extension just 24 inches from her window - completely obscuring her view.

Despite the fact she says it took £100,000 off the value of the home, and rendered it unsellable, the council said it could do nothing to force the demolition of the new extension.

In 2013, a row that had been rumbling for 17 years finally came to court. One of the neighbours had planted eight conifer trees in his front garden, and ignored repeated requests to cut them back to allow natural light into his neighbour’s home.

He was eventually forced to by a court - after the trees had caused a crack to appear in his neighbour’s wall.

Wendy and Paul Collins from Brownhills in the West Midlands watched in horror as their neighbours erected a six foot fence at the bottom of their front garden, blocking their front gate and leaving their car stranded on their front lawn.

Their home faces onto a car park serving a block of flats, and the owners of the flats erected the fence to stop the couple driving through the car park in order to park on their front lawn. The couple can still access their house through the back - and have a drive round the other side of the house - unfortunately their car is stuck on the lawn.

A Michigan man who had been through a bitter divorce, decided to get his revenge on his ex-wife by moving in next door.

As soon as he had moved in, he erected a 12 foot statue in the front garden, of a hand giving the finger. The statue is even lit up at night.

In May last year, Steven and Fiona Young from Blawith were ordered to pay their neighbours, Peter and Lesley Raymond, £600,000, after a campaign of harassment.

The Youngs had lived in a large farmhouse, but decades earlier sold up and moved to a smaller property next door. The Raymonds moved into the farmhouse and the Youngs became nightmare neighbours.

They piled rubbish in the garden, damaged fences, let animals foul their garden, and rode quad bikes over the grounds. When the Raymonds installed CCTV, Mr Young mooned them, and then painted over them.

The Raymonds sued for harassment, trespass, nuisance, assault and slander - and were awarded £200,000. The Youngs also had to pay £400,000 costs.


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