A HOMEOWNER has been forced to sell her dream house as she can see into her neighbour's SHOWER while eating her dinner.
Pauline Boyd snapped up her peaceful Scottish home three and a half years ago – but when another house was built right beside her’s things took a turn for the worse.
Now her kitchen and living room in Greylag, Rossburn Lane, stares straight into her neighbours garage, which includes a shower room.
Ms Boyd told the Observer: "When we first got here, it was quite rural and while we had neighbours, they weren't really in your face.
"We had moved up to Turriff in Aberdeenshire but I was missing family so much that I was down every six weeks so we decided to get a base down here and I had always wanted to stay near Stirling Castle so it seemed like the perfect spot.
"In January 2019, the owner decided to sell a bit of his land near us and the property that is there now has a garage that looks right into where we eat.
"There is also a shower room in the property and so we can see people through there while we're eating our dinner, even though the windows are frosted.
"It's got to the stage that our stress levels are really bad and really impacted our lives – we're having to keep our shutters closed but we don't want to be doing that."
‘DISTRACTED’ COUNCIL WORKER
Now she is hitting out at council planning chiefs, who she says never informed her of the details of the planning application.
Planning was first applied for in March 2019, with a second application submitted for approval in September that year.
And the council have been forced to apologise – after an investigation revealed the employee responsible for sending the letter was distracted by a phone call.
In a letter sent to Ms Boyd in January this year, Stirling Council's planning and building standards manager, Christina Cox, writes: "I have looked into how this error arose and hope that the following provides some explanation.
"The Gateway team within the planning service undertake neighbour notification of all planning applications.
"In this instance, the officer correctly identified your property to be neighbour notified, however, the letter was not printed for issue.
"It is likely that the officer was distracted by taking a telephone call midway through the task and did not complete the printing of the letter to issue to you."
Now Ms Boyd says the nightmare neighbours, and the mix up with the council has forced her to place her house on the market due to the loss of privacy.
She added: "It has been a nightmare with Stirling Council and it has been so badly mishandled in general.
"The systems are in place but they just don't appear to be working because if we had known about this garage going up, we would have built a fortress or a stronger fence.
"We're looking for a new place to live because this property is impacting our lives – we moved here for rural living but we feel like fish in a bowl and we can't even sit in our garden because we're looking directly on to this garage near the road.
"It's a shame that we're having to sell because we've done a lot of work on the house."
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In response, a Stirling Council spokesperson said her property was three times the minimum privacy distance from her neighbour.
They added: "The council has apologised in writing to Mrs Boyd regarding this matter and her complaints have been fully investigated.
"Further quality assurance processes have been put in place to ensure this error is not repeated."
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