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Old 21.07.2017, 09:29
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Objecting to planning permission

The neighbouring house in front of ours have decided to put in for planning permission to build a 3 story apartment block in their back garden

I never object to things which improve the aesthetics or livability of peoples' houses, but this just takes the 'Michael'. It will obstruct our view, affect our privacy and just be an ugly concrete block amongst handsome early 20th century buildings.

We've already viewed the plans at the building inspectorate offices and now want to register a formal objection. Anybody have any tips on the best game plan, and how this is likely to proceed? I was thinking of getting a lawyer but it might be a little premature for that.

P.S you might be able to see the marker posts in the second photo, if built it will essentially block out most of the view on the right hand side
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Old 21.07.2017, 09:44
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

Don't you register the objection at the planning office itself? I presume that is the first step. It might also be worthwhile canvassing your neighbours (if no-one else has already done so) before employing a lawyer.
We had a similar situation at our previous place; a contractor wanted to build 3 x 7-storey blocks that would obstruct our view, not right in front like your situation though, but in a field just beyond our quartier. Quite a number of people objected to the height and a protest group was set up and hired a lawyer. We've since moved, so I don't know the outcome of the protest action.
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Old 21.07.2017, 09:47
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

Go to commune and talk with them first about your concerns and see what they say, they seem valid concerns.
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Old 21.07.2017, 09:57
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

did they not come and talk to you first? for that alone they deserve a world of pain
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:10
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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did they not come and talk to you first? for that alone they deserve a world of pain
No, they most certainly did not. You would think before splashing out all that money for architect drawings and plans it would have perhaps been a good idea to gauge neighbourhood opinion.
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:19
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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No, they most certainly did not. You would think before splashing out all that money for architect drawings and plans it would have perhaps been a good idea to gauge neighbourhood opinion.
Assuming they own building land with enough building rights left, they are entitled to build.
Obstructing your view won't really cut it, you could buy the plot of land if you want full control.
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:22
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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Assuming they own building land with enough building rights left, they are entitled to build.
Obstructing your view won't really cut it, you could buy the plot of land if you want full control.
If they kept it to one storey then it wouldn't be as objectionable, but once it goes above the tree line then we have a problem.
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:24
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

Do they have building permission granted to them by the town yet? I ask because of the poles outlining the building.


Under correct procedure, when a developer or other wish to construct a new building the town goes through an "enquête", or a public enquiry process prior to granting a construction licence. This is to allow surrounding inhabitants to say yay or nay to the planned construction. However the poles already being there makes me wonder if you have not already missed this stage of the process? During the enquiry period you should not at this stage require a lawyer, as it is an official process opened by the town.
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:26
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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If they kept it to one storey then it wouldn't be as objectionable, but once it goes above the tree line then we have a problem.
Will it really be that height though? From what i can see from the plan and the gabarits, it will obstruct the gap between their house (presumably the one in front) and the neighbour to their right, but won't be an higher than the house itself.

Last edited by PaddyG; 21.07.2017 at 10:27. Reason: "Obstruct", not "fill"
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:37
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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If they kept it to one storey then it wouldn't be as objectionable, but once it goes above the tree line then we have a problem.
It depends on if they can use all their building rights with 1 story, this may not be an option.

Someone just built in front of part of my sea view, so I am building an extra floor, plans finished yesterday
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:41
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

This works at least 2 different levels, but mainly:

1. Does the proposed development comply with all the mandatory rules like number of stories, distance from the road, plot building density (Ausnutzungsziffer) etc. etc.

2. Does the proposed development comply with all the discretionary rules about distance from neighbours property etc. (in case yours), which the neighbour could (if he was a nice chap) relax in the developer's favour at the risk of reducing the value of his own property.

If the building profiles are in place, the developer will soon, if he has not already done so, publish that he has submitted an application for a building permit. You have only limited time to object.

As has already been suggested, visit your community for a discussion about your options. Also talk to the other possibly affected neighbours.

Also, bear in mind the Swiss do not take "rights" not to be overlooked from a neighbouring property as seriously as in some other countries
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:44
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

How would access to the new apts work? I know that can be a sticking point in the UK (sorry, no helpful CH comments.) There isn't a right to a view either, although I think losing sunlight to more shade and losing privacy are factors taken into consideration.

That sucks mightily, Castro. As other have said, if they missed the consultation phase, either accidentally or deliberately, you probably have more leverage.
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:47
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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Do they have building permission granted to them by the town yet? I ask because of the poles outlining the building.


Under correct procedure, when a developer or other wish to construct a new building the town goes through an "enquête", or a public enquiry process prior to granting a construction licence. This is to allow surrounding inhabitants to say yay or nay to the planned construction. However the poles already being there makes me wonder if you have not already missed this stage of the process? During the enquiry period you should not at this stage require a lawyer, as it is an official process opened by the town.
The posts were erected on Wednesday and the letter arrived yesterday, so this is the first we have heard about it. The letter says we have 7 days to raise an objection in writing, and what is fortunate is that had all this happened next week we would have been away on our hols.
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:55
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

Is the mindset behind the plans that they request something unreasonable, knowing that it'll provoke a reaction and they can compromise later, but still get approved much more than they expected.
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:00
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

Take this example for consideration. Even though the window for placing opposition may be small, once recorded you have them by the short and curlies.

A family member knocked down their old late 19th century villa to construct an apartment block. When the public enquiry was opened, 2 property owners (1 at the end of the chemin and the other on the next street, but whose gardens met) opposed the development. This dragged on for almost 2 years, as long as there is opposition nothing can be built.

At the end the problem was solved by asking them both what would make them remove their opposition? 1 owner requested a financial incentive (I believe it was Sfr 100'000.- ), and the other demanded to own one of the visitor parking spaces outside the planned building, both were granted.

So you see, it may be possible to get something out of placing opposition, or you could just let it drag forever...

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.07.2017 at 11:34. Reason: fixed spacing to make it easier to read
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:02
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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Is the mindset behind the plans that they request something unreasonable, knowing that it'll provoke a reaction and they can compromise later, but still get approved much more than they expected.
They own the land with building rights, so the plan is perfectly reasonable. The surrounding houses were built with identical restrictions just built first. Building first does not give anyone any additional rights or stronger grounds for objection to others who wish to build later.
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:03
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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The letter says we have 7 days to raise an objection in writing, and what is fortunate is that had all this happened next week we would have been away on our hols.
Thank goodness for small wonders
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:07
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

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The posts were erected on Wednesday and the letter arrived yesterday, so this is the first we have heard about it. The letter says we have 7 days to raise an objection in writing, and what is fortunate is that had all this happened next week we would have been away on our hols.
7 days is a remarkably short deadline. The developer could, however, have already published the submission in the local paper (Amtsanzeiger) which you do read, don't you ?

Who sent the letter ? The local administration or the developer or who ?.

With only 7 days, I would definitely register an objection and ensure that it goes to the right place in your community (not the developer or his agent etc.) stating that you will provide concrete details later and mentioning the very short deadline as a reason for this. Of course, if it turns out that you can do nothing anyway, you can always withdraw your objection later.
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:12
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

I agree, it can drag on for years. In Geneva we have the FAO which is now online. To keep up with what's going on you need to follow the communal meetings (we get an e-mail sent with what was discussed) & look at the FAO regularly. Any building or modifying plans are announced there. I imagine something similar exists elsewhere in Switzerland. It's a national sport to object to building projects here & I totally agree with previous comments to ask around your neighbours. The usual thing is to form a committee who will follow the objections & yes, lawyers will likely be involved in the long run so if you don't have legal insurance, it's a good idea to get some. Where we live there's a rule of one house per block of land but already city densification means they are starting to look the other way + try it on with plans that correspond to more people than is legally allowed, heights of buildings etc.
I wish you luck.
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:19
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Re: Objecting to planning permission

This article seems relevant (Ger.) https://www.nzz.ch/finanzen/einspruc...bar-1.18430794

There is also a warning in it about discussing financial 'compensation' to withdraw an objection. If it is clumsily done, you risk exposing yourself to a charge of blackmail.
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