My neighbours hate my garden newbuild… they say it takes £30k off their house value but it actually ENHANCES it | The Sun

A LANDOWNER who fought for a controversial bungalow to be built has hit back at his neighbours for behaving "like a pack of wolves".

Mark Copeland rubbished claims from residents that his new-build devalued their home by £30,000, insisting: “It is a very nice property and only enhances theirs!"

The former construction company boss spoke out after furious locals blamed him for an “eyesore” sprawling new bungalow in the desirable village of Newthorpe, Nottinghamshire.

After winning a bitter years-long planning dispute “fairly and squarely”, Mark, speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, said: “The neighbours were anxious about it being built and were offensive and abusive.

“I nearly decided not to continue had it not been for contention in the Town Hall at the borough council.

“Some neighbours were quite abusive to me at a meeting, and also a borough councillor was feeding inaccurate facts and blemishing my character."

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One local couple Roger and Sharon Smith claims the “intrusive” bungalow behind their four-bed detached home has slashed up to £30,000 off the price.

They complain the roof is so close to their garden they can reach out and touch it.

But Mark disputed their claims, saying: “The Smiths are implying they have lost £30,000 on their house which is a four bed detached and must be worth £300,000, but the bungalow is a very nice property and only enhances theirs.”

Another pair living next door, pensioners Terry and Mary Cook, have been forced to spend £3,000 on hedging to screen the new build and stop being spied on.

But despite Terry, 81, describing the legal dispute as "awful", his neighbour has now told of how he "won the day".

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Mark admitted today: “It’s been a tricky one and an expensive process trying to appease neighbours.

"It took five applications and drawings. Everything was done above board and correctly, but nothing proposed appeased the neighbours.

“Their objections were obnoxious and obstructive.

“It is had been two-storey it would have had less impact on the footprint.

“The plans were finally accepted by the Inspector. Nothing was done underhanded.”

“It was a little tricky and I was going to decide not to continue but a friend said I must continue, and if I didn’t he wouldn’t be a friend of mine any more."

The second appeal we won fairly and squarely. We won the day.

Mark and his wife used to live at a five-bed house next door in Mill Lane and had intended to downsize to the new bungalow, but the ongoing feud with neighbours over planning led them to move away.

He explained: “The neighbours’ attitudes soured that, we were not driven out but we decided to move into the countryside in Lincolnshire.

He told how on one occasion he took the proposal to the Smiths – whose home backs onto the bungalow – “and I invited them to my house with my wife but they declined that meeting”

He stated: “We wanted to work together but they declined and joined forces with other properties, one belonging to a former miner next door, and they were like a pack of wolves.”

Mark, who ran a building company specialising in domestic alterations until six years ago, told how he sold the land with pemission to build to a developer, who then sold it to David and Brenda Kitching.

He said: "It’s out of my hands twice now.”

He doesn't know the new owners personally but said coincidentally he knew of the Kitchings because they had previously bought a house from him.

He told how when he sold the land to a developer, that purchaser had called him to say that “Mrs Smith was being abusive and not being very nice.

“I told him ‘You have full planning permission, get on with the job and enjoy building a bungalow!’

“They were a bit like a dog with a bone but there’s no animosity now with the owners.”

His daughter Joanna Copeland lives next door the old family house – the contentious bungalow is on land which was once her back garden.

Plans for the single-storey home had been rejected multiple times by Broxtowe Borough Council and once by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate when appealed by the applicant.

But another appeal was allowed in July 2018, and permission was finally granted so construction could start – leading the home to be build two years ago after the land was sold by Mark.

The years-long quarrel has left a lasting imprint on the furious neighbours.

Roger, 59, said: “It dwarfs our garden completely. We’ve had to put up blinds to keep our privacy and it’s ruined the light. It’s definitely devalued our home as well.

"I just can’t believe it was ever built to be honest.”

His wife, 61, added: “It’s so intrusive and close. You can reach out and touch the roof from our garden.

"Look I can touch the roof! It's intrusive, it’s in your face but we have to get used to. They should have built further back.

“We were told it may have knocked £25,000 to £30,000 off the house.

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“It’s come down to the Government Inspectorate and Mr Copeland has left his legacy.

“The council kept refusing his plans and then he got away with it.”

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