We hate our neighbour's illegal rooftop balcony – we want it torn down NOW | The Sun09/02/2022
FURIOUS neighbours in Britain's poshest postcode are demanding a millionaire businessman immediately tear down a roof terrace he threw up without permission.
Robert and Lisa Heffer sparked outrage when a glass balustrade appeared on top of their £2 million mansion in Sandbanks, Dorset.
It created a roof terrace which has stunning views over Poole Harbour – home of ex-football stars Harry and Jamie Redknapp.
But residents complain the illegal roof-top balcony breaches their privacy.
And they reckon the loaded businessmen and his family will throw raucous parties on top of their monster pile, allowing guests to peer over into private gardens and swimming pools.
The Heffers, who bought the three storey crib two years ago and have been refurbishing it ever since, insist the glass balustrade was merely a screen for air conditioning units.
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Mr Heffer, who raked in a fortune through his share in the family meat distribution business, submitted a retrospective planning application that would have allowed him to keep the balcony.
Retrospective planning permission is planning sought after something is built.
But some neighbours in the area – where average house prices are £1.9 million – wrote letters of objection, citing a potential invasion of privacy if the balcony was allowed to remain.
Dr Raymond Hill, who lives next door, accused Mr Heffer of hypocrisy after the meat magnate planted trees in his own back garden to give his brood privacy around the pool.
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Dr Hill said: "It's ironic because he would be invading everyone else's privacy if the roof terrace is allowed to remain.
"There are concerns that there will be parties on the roof."
Another neighbour, Ross Holman, hammered: "I object to the glass balustrade that has been added to the roof of this property.
"This was described in the application as screening.
"However, it was not screening as it is clear glass and would in fact enable the use of the large roof of this property to be used as a social space.
"This roof has clear views over the neighbouring properties' private gardens and will remove the privacy they currently benefit from.
"The local authority should use its enforcement powers to have the glass balustrade removed."
Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, ridiculed the Heffers' claim the balustrade is screening, saying it is in fact "clear glass".
They said: "If it was allowed to remain the roof could be used to host parties.
"We want it taken down and the roof to only be used for essential maintenance."
The neighbour warned the balcony would "set a dangerous precedent" and disturb the peace and privacy of the neighbourhood.
Scott Garvey wrote a letter of objection on behalf of his father-in-law who lives next door.
In it he wrote: "The retrospective application for the glass balustrading is extremely frustrating.
"When this was erected the developer assured planning that this was a maintenance platform for the air con, this was very obviously not the intended use.
"This directly looks over and into my father-in-law's garden, swimming pool, terrace and into his bedroom windows."
Planning chiefs at Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council decided to refuse the structure permission.
They branded it an "odd and intrusive feature" that would not be in keeping with the neighbourhood.
But a spokesperson for Mr Heffer lashed back at the angry neighbours, saying the glass is "translucent" and does not impact the neighbourhood.
A spokesperson for Chapman Lily Planning, Mr Heffer's planning agent, said: "The screens are translucent so they are in no way impacting the way the neighbourhood looks."
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"We are confident that once we have talked to the council and amended our plans they will be allowed."
The Sun Online have approached Chapman Lily Planning for comment.
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