‘My new neighbours have installed huge, garish containers in our beautiful village. What can I do?’

Linda J. Dodson

Every week, The Telegraph’s Property Doctors bring expertise on renovations and DIY, interiors, buying and selling, lettings, legal issues and taxes. Send your questions to  [email protected]

Q Our village is lucky enough to enjoy virtually uninterrupted views across the countryside. However, new occupants of a house just outside our village boundary and adjacent to public walking paths have installed two 40ft-long containers on their land that are brightly coloured, with one in full advertising mode for a big supermarket.  

They are an unsightly mass blighting otherwise beautiful countryside which is valued and respected. On polite enquiry we were told the containers are for temporary storage while house renovations are underway. They also said they hope to paint the containers so they will blend in.

However, these storage containers have permanent looking features (fixed steps and lighting) which suggests they are there for the long haul (forgive the pun). Some months later they are still there and no painting has been done. Are you able to advise anything that we neighbours and village residents can do?  Polite conversations don’t seem to work.

CR, by email

A I think your first port of call should be the planning department of the local authority for the area where the house and containers are. It may be that the installation of these large containers was in breach of planning control and the local authority may well take enforcement action. 

Apart from that, I am afraid there is little you can do. It is a general principle of the law that “no one has a right to a view”. All I can suggest is that whoever’s garden is nearest to the house with these containers plants some greenery to obscure them. 

David Fleming is the head of property litigation at William Heath & Co solicitors (williamheath.co.uk)

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