A council has retrospectively approved plans for works to create four 'imposing' tiered terraces in the rear garden of a house, despite objections from neighbours.

An application seeking part retrospective permission to construct the terraces, in a garden in Kings Causeway, Brierfield, was submitted to Pendle Borough Council in June last year, nine months after work had already begun on the structure, in September 2020.

However, following several objections to the proposals, which were lodged by householder Usman Saeed, the plans went to the Nelson, Brierfield and Reedley Committee on October 4 in which it was concluded that a structural survey should be carried out.

A report from the committee stated: “The proposed development, which is largely complete, is the formation of stepped terracing to the rear garden, comprising a patio to the rear of the house and three stepped terraces covering the full length and width of the rear garden.

“The original levels of the land appear to have sloped down both from north to south and from east to west, the formation of the terraces involved excavating on the east side by up to approximately 2m and building a concrete block retaining wall of up to 3m high on the west side.

“A 2m fence has been erected to the north boundary and 1.2m fencing is proposed along the west side of the development.

“The issue of a structural survey has been raised with the agent and nearest neighbours notified by letter.”

Five residents objected to the building works citing the following, amongst others, as reasons to refuse retrospective planning and halt the work: the appearance of the terracing is unsightly; the topography of the land had been raised to an unacceptable height; surface water ingress; trees removed affecting appearance and the soak away of water; land slippage, collapse, erosion and subsidence concerns; lack of privacy; and loss of view.

One resident’s objection read: “The structure appears huge and imposing and my photos don’t do it justice - it is far higher than the neighbour’s garden behind us.”

Another resident called the construction a ‘blot on the landscape’ and said that since work started and trees were removed, their garden had flooded, with water running onto flagstones towards the foundations of their conservatory.

The resident also said that the view from their back bedroom had been ruined, as where they could once see green trees, they could now only see a four-tiered structure, and expect that once the works are complete, whoever is using the terraces will be able to look directly over into their gardens, infringing the privacy of people living not only in Kings Causeway but Marsden Height Close.

The initial application form suggested that Mr Saeed did not seek prior assistance nor prior advice from the local authority about the proposals, or the tree removals, before starting work in September 2020.

Concerns were raised regarding this, however, the committee report stated: “In a domestic garden such as this, with no designation or protected trees, there is no restriction on the removal of trees and other vegetation.

“There are also permitted development rights available to hard surface rear gardens without the need for planning permission and to erect structures on up to half of the curtilage area.”

The report went on: “The terracing is acceptable in terms of visual amenity and residential amenity, a structural survey is awaited to demonstrate that there are no unacceptable potential land stability issues resulting from the development, it is recommended that the approval of the application be delegated to the Planning, Economic Development and Regulatory Services Manager subject to the receipt of an acceptable structural survey.”

A structural survey was carried out earlier this year which raised no further concerns, and the plans were retrospectively approved by the council on July 13.