FUMING residents desperately want their neighbours’ luxury garden cabins torn down as they say they are a total invasion of their privacy.
Michael and Nicola Illingworth, whose outdoor space is overlooked by the high-end sheds, have also complained they have slashed the value of their house.
David Carr’s shed can be seen over the fence from the Illingworth’sCredit: NNP
Neighbour Brian Edwards has a hot tub in his high-end cabinCredit: NNP
They claim one of the huts drips water from its guttering into their garden – a nightmare for them and any potential buyer.
And the other is a permanent eyesore which sets their dog off barking.
The only solution they now see to the problem is to knock both down.
Nicola, whose fury grew further when the council granted their neighbours retrospective planning permission, said: “People come over and say, ‘what on earth is that?’
“We suspect the value of the house will have gone down.
“We won’t sell and are considering what we might be able to do improve the situation.”
She added that the pair could install a screen or even raise the fence but admit the “the irony is we would need permission to do that”.
Dad-of-two David added that next door neighbour Brian Edwards’ cabin causes their Labrador puppy Pippa to bark uncontrollably.
“When people are on the decking our dog starts barking,” he said.
“It’s impacted our lives in lots of ways.
“We have large windows downstairs, so we can’t get away from it. We feel like it has totally invaded our privacy.
“It’s definitely created an atmosphere. When we walk past them it’s as though looks could kill.”
Michael claims that neither Brian, 43, nor fellow shed owner David Carr, who spent a staggering £33,000 on his, “never once came round to explain what they were doing”.
And he insists that things would be very different had they had a word beforehand.
Michael, from Wynyard, on Teesside, added: “If you are going to buy a house, buy one that’s big enough for you not to have to build an outdoor cabin.”
However, David believes civil servant Michael, 43, and medical writer Nicola, 40, are just jealous because really they would like a garden bar with a gym and wood burning stove themselves.
People come over and say, ‘what on earth is that?’
He said: “I honestly don’t know what Michael’s problem is.
“I think he is probably jealous and wants one himself. It’s not a nice atmosphere.”
David, company director of a gas and utility company, forked out tens of thousands on his luxurious cabin which is kitted out with a bar, pool table and play area for his children.
The 49-year-old, who lives in his large detached house with wife Sarah and kids Zachary, 10, and Jayme, five, said he built it over lockdown because he couldn’t go to the pub.
David, who insists his shed doesn’t make any noise, said: “Michael bought his house after I got mine and my cabin was getting built just as he was moving in.
“He complained to Bellway, the builder of the homes, but they didn’t act because I didn’t need permission.
“I wasn’t concerned as I knew my cabin was within the regulations. I got my builder to come and double check and he said it was fine.”
David said Michael then tried to grass him up to the council and he later got a letter saying they wanted to come out and investigate.
The council gave him the all clear – but he says the threats kept on coming.
David claims Michael’s mother even confronted him over the fence, scolding him for “you and your loud music” – but he cheekily hit back telling her he only does it to “annoy” them.
Brian’s cabin can be seen over the fence and is ruining the Illingworth’s lives, they sayCredit: NNP
The view from the couple’s homeCredit: NNP
One of the sheds can be seen over the fence from Michael and Nicola’s gardenCredit: NNP
The Wynyard Estate is a sprawling and luxurious gated community where houses sell for an average of half a million pounds.
It is home to former Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne and footballers such as Tommy Miller and Steve Baker.
Brian lives next door to David with his family and has a smaller cabin in his garden which he built to relax in.
However, his shed is the one that Nicola and Michael have the biggest problem with as they say its elevated veranda has ruined their privacy.
After the couple made a complaint, Brian was forced to apply for retrospective permission which has now been granted.
A hot tub rests on the cabin’s raised decking and it also has a darts board, indoor gym, play area and fridge for beer.
Brian said: “I work from home and I have a two-year-old son. I decided to get the cabin built because of lockdown.
“I have a hot tub which I use for hydrotherapy because I have early onset arthritis.
“I also have a mini fridge for drinks. We’ve never had any parties in it.”
Brian claims that when he moved in he went round and introduced himself to the neighbours and bought everyone a bottle of wine.
But he admitted: “I could tell from the start the couple who complained were not happy.
“They were the only ones not to say thank you.”
Addressing the issue of the water leak, Brian said: “It has a drainage system that takes water away not only from our garden, but from theirs as well.”
He added that the couple’s complaint led to “a month of worry” – and living alongside the pair has “not been nice”.
But, he claims to “have the support of a lot of neighbours”.
David has a full bar and drinks selection in his cabinCredit: NNP
There is also a pool table and play area for his childrenCredit: NNP
David has a vintage Pac Man machine in his denCredit: NNP
David says he has planning permission for his luxury shedCredit: NNP