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Retired couple’s fury after their dream bungalow is ‘ruined’ by ‘eyesore’ new builds blocking their woodland views and towering over their home


A retired couple are furious because their dream home has been ‘ruined’ by the construction of new-build homes which tower over their back garden.

Maureen and Dave King, who are in their 70s, bought the bungalow in the quiet village of Broad Oak, near Canterbury in Kent nine years ago and enjoyed views of rolling fields, orchards and woodland.

But now their peace has been shattered after the trees were ripped out and replaced by the building of towering two-and-a-half storey homes, which the couple have labelled an ‘eyesore’.

When the grandparents first bought the place, they thought they would never leave, spending thousands of pounds on gutting the property out and refurbishing it for their retirement.

However, the couple are now desperate to move after their picturesque views were ruined by the new 456-home estate being built next door.

Maureen and Dave King bought the bungalow in the quiet village of Broad Oak, near Canterbury in Kent, nine years ago

Maureen and Dave King bought the bungalow in the quiet village of Broad Oak, near Canterbury in Kent, nine years ago

Mr and Mrs King are now desperate to move out after their picturesque views were ruined by Barratt David Wilson Homes' plans for a new 456-home estate next door. The new homes loom over their back garden in this picture

Mr and Mrs King are now desperate to move out after their picturesque views were ruined by Barratt David Wilson Homes’ plans for a new 456-home estate next door. The new homes loom over their back garden in this picture

Mr and Mrs King say they fought 'tooth and nail' to stop Barratt David Wilson Homes' plans from coming to fruition, but were unsuccessful. THis picture shows how the new-builds tower over their back garden

Mr and Mrs King say they fought ‘tooth and nail’ to stop Barratt David Wilson Homes’ plans from coming to fruition, but were unsuccessful. THis picture shows how the new-builds tower over their back garden

The couple describe the two-and-a-half storey homes being built behind their home as an eyesore

The couple describe the two-and-a-half storey homes being built behind their home as an eyesore 

Former nurse Mrs King, 71, said: ‘When we bought this place, we thought when we left it would be in a box.

‘It was our dream home – but that dream has been taken away from us.’

Her 72-year-old husband, a former builder, claimed he is losing sleep due to the stress.

He added: ‘Now we just want to get out. It’s ruined our garden – it’s ruined everything.I was given a hot tub as a gift, but I won’t use it now if people are looking into my garden.’

Mr and Mrs King say they fought ‘tooth and nail’ to stop Barratt David Wilson Homes’ plans from coming to fruition, but were unsuccessful.

The couple claim that at consultations, the plan for two-storey houses, with a further loft floor, was described as not set in stone.

However, it was not until the diggers rolled in that the couple realised the tall new-builds behind their refurbished bungalow would allow people to see into their kitchen and bedroom. 

Mrs King continued: ‘The main issue is the height.’We’re in a bungalow – built pre-70s – and these buildings are so high and they have windows in the roof.

‘We’ve got 16-plus windows overlooking us. They can look into our garden and our home. They are an eyesore too.’

The grandparents-of-nine also worry about their young family members playing in the back garden in the summer.

Mrs King said: ‘You don’t know who’s going to move in, and you can see the whole thing.’

The bungalow was intended to be the Kings’ retirement home until work began on the development. 

Whilst they are now desperate to leave, the couple claim it will not be easy, as the value of their property will have plummeted due to the new builds. 

Mrs King said: ‘The bungalow next door to ours has been up for sale for at least six months. 

‘The price of ours must have plummeted. Who would want to be overlooked by all these tall buildings?’ 

The 456-home development, named The Woodlands, is located in the quiet village of Broad Oak, Kent

The 456-home development, named The Woodlands, is located in the quiet village of Broad Oak, Kent 

It was not until the diggers rolled in that the couple realised the tall new-builds behind their refurbished bungalow would allow people to see into their kitchen and bedroom

It was not until the diggers rolled in that the couple realised the tall new-builds behind their refurbished bungalow would allow people to see into their kitchen and bedroom

The bungalow was intended to be the Kings' retirement home until work began on the development

The bungalow was intended to be the Kings’ retirement home until work began on the development

To add to their misery, the couple say the construction process has been a ‘catalogue of disasters’.

Last summer, a huge pile of dirt blew a thick layer of grime onto their home and Mr King’s classic car collection.

This was followed by sewage backing up and overflowing into their garden last week thanks to work being carried out on pipes at the neighbouring construction site.  

The 456-home development, named The Woodlands, was narrowly approved by Canterbury City Council’s planning committee in 2021.

It was submitted along with a 630-home proposal on neighbouring land, stretching into Sturry.

Councillors gave both the green light by seven votes to five, despite fierce opposition and an almost identical proposal being rejected three months earlier.

A spokesman for Barratt David Wilson Homes said: ‘All of the designs for homes at our The Woodlands development were approved by Canterbury City Council following an extensive consultation process.

‘The new homes that are being built adjacent to existing properties are offset by more than 28 metres and were assessed in the planning process to have no adverse impact on existing residents.

‘We work really hard to minimise the impact from construction with daily road sweepings to clean mud and in the summer months spray water to limit dust.

‘If any resident has any concerns, please get in touch with us and we will do whatever we can to help.’



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