We’re selling our £350k home of 40 years as a new apartment block is being built outside – they’re ruining our lives
A RETIRED NHS worker and his wife are being driven out of their beloved home of 40 years because of a “hated” new apartment block next door.
Desperate Rameth Patel, 80, says the eyesore construction will loom over the neighbourhood and disturb his tranquil setting.
The former health service clinical assistant and porter said that the apartment block is not only “horrible”, but he fears it will also knock thousands off the value of his home.
Rameth added that the cheeky developer even tried to nick a bit of his front garden to make a wider entrance to his site.
The 80-year-old told The Sun: “We want to get out of here now because of the proposed development. It will be horrible.
“It will affect our privacy, peace, our space and and light, and will devalue our house by thousands of pounds.
“All the neighbours are complaining, no one wants it. It will increase traffic and cause parking issues and the council should never have allowed it.
“We feel we’re being driven out of our home. We’re sick and tired of this.”
Rameth and wife Jyotsna’s comfortable three-bed 1930’s detached house is situated in Evington, on the outskirts of Leicester.
But their £350,000 property also borders a disused builder’s yard, the site of the proposed two-storey bock of eight flats that has the neighbourhood up in arms.
However, for determined developer Nico Properties, the plans are a case of third time’s a charm – as they finally won planning permission despite two failed attempts and fierce opposition from nearly 100 residents.
The company have submitted three applications in the past two years to build on the site off Staveley Road, and have recently been given the green light by Leicester City Council.
It seems very unfair to have this development in our back garden and our house price will be going down.
Rameth added: “We now want to sell our house because of this. We have lived here for more than 40 years.
“They asked if they could take a corner off my front garden to make their boundary and entrance lane bigger – we told them it was non negotiable.
“We’re not losing part of their garden to help enhance their development. No way.
“Everyone is objecting and we can’t understand why the council passed planning permission. They should not have allowed it, we are very upset.”
His wife added: “We are unhappy about it. We hate it. There will be people coming and going all the time beside our house. It will be flat rentals and anyone could be living there.”
Their neighbour Pramod Mistry said that he is also looking to move because of the development, feeling the new property will “spoil” the area.
Pramod, 58, who has lived in the family home for 30 years with his wife and 15-year-old daughter, said: “I understand there are housing issues, new homes need to be built but not behind ours!”
He invited The Sun Online into his large garden to see first hand the builder’s yard which will become home for dozens of new residents, most of whom are expected to rent.
Pointing over his back fence to the plot, he said: “The builder closed down at least six years ago and the land has been empty.
“When it was a yard it was never a problem, yes the occasional vehicle and bit of noise but never during anti social hours.
“Now we will be faced with new flats and security, privacy and traffic will be a problem and maybe anti-social issues.”
They will be virtually building in my back yard
Pramod, who was one of 86 objectors to the scheme, continued: “It was pre-determined. The council didn’t take any notice of our objections this time round.
“Maybe if there was going to be a couple of houses with families living there it would be more acceptable than flats, and more in keeping with the area.”
He told how the determined developer had originally wanted 21 flats rising to four storeys but plans were successfully fought against by residents.
But two subsequent applications followed, diminishing in size each time until approval was finally granted with appeals and an error by council planners.
‘EVERYONE IS AGAINST IT’
The neighbourhood is just a mile-and-a-half from Leicester’s poshest and priciest Stoneygate area, and generations of families have happily lived here for years.
Numerous local residents are now furious with the planned development, with retired busnessman Farooq Ghumram declaring: “What can we do? Nothing.
“Ninety-five per cent of people living here are against the scheme. We’re worried about lack of privacy, increased traffic and parking, people are moving away because of it.
“We have lived here for 20 years – we are sad this is happening.”
Another resident who lives opposite the development added: “I’m so worried for my privacy and safety.
“I have lived here for 50 years, I am an old woman now, but I signed that petition to to stop the scheme. Everyone is against it.
“It used to be such a nice area but it’s not the same now.”
The 84-year-old local, who declined to give her name, feared some anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhood could escalate.
She told how there had been a spell of gangs hanging outside the entrance of the site “getting up to no good.”
She said: “I wouldn’t like to say what is going on there but it is noisy and anti-social.
“I don’t want anyone buying or renting flats across the road from my house.
“They took down the gates at the site entrance directly opposite my house and it’s open for all sorts to go on.”
Dad-of-three Machinst Salim Isa, who lives at the opposite end of the development, said: “We are all protesting but it is going to happen now and we are very upset.
“My back garden overlooks the site… now we will have a large two-storey block which we don’t want. Our privacy, our light, our home will be affected.”
However, a couple living on another side of the development said: “It doesn’t bother us.”
The pair, both pharmacists, moved into the area last year, unaware of the plans to build beside their new home.
The woman, wishing to remain anonymous, said: “At the end of the day it is going to happen.
“People have complained about privacy and anti social behaviour but surely it is better to have someone living there than an empty builder’s yard.
“When we moved in a year ago we weren’t aware of any planned development. It has been an issue for residents here but not us.”
For developer Nico Properties, it has taken three attempts to turn their plans into reality.
Their original application to build a block of nine flats at the site was refused by planners in 2020.
Their bid went to appeal, but the inspector overseeing the case agreed with the council and threw the case out over concerns from locals about poor living standards and insufficient parking.
The defiant developer then launched a second bid last year, but the local authority failed to make a decision within the required time limit, so the matter was again taken to an appeal.
The planning inspector ruled the scheme acceptable despite the concerns from neighbours, but later refused it again because there was not enough information to show the new building would not cause flooding.
A third application was submitted to the council this year for eight flats on the site, which was identical to the previous year’s bid, but also included a flood risk assessment.
Leicester City Council’s planning committee was urged to approve the plan by officers as the planning inspector had already indicated it would be acceptable.
The agent for Nico Properties said during the meeting that the plan would provide “much-needed homes on a sustainable brownfield site at a time of significant housing need.”
Nico Properties has been approached for comment.