A couple embroiled in a bitter planning row have erected huge banners with their neighbours’ faces on them.
Courtney, 65, and Fiona Lytton, 60, have been left furious after a converted barn and a cottage overlooking their home were given planning permission to build verandas.
The couple claim they have been ‘robbed of their privacy’ and their ‘lives have been ruined’ because residents using the balconies can now see into their garden in Penzance, Cornwall.
In retaliation, the pair took photos of their neighbours looking out the window and blew the images up on 10ft banners alongside the words ‘privacy banner’.
Courtney, 65, and Fiona Lytton, 60, holding their privacy banner aloft in their garden in Penzance, Cornwall
Mrs Lytton said: ‘I wanted to show them what it was like to have them looking’
The row began in 2015 when the Lytton’s first objected to plans for an extension that were submitted to Cornwall Council.
But permission was granted and new extensions have since been built to the houses on either side of the Lytton’s house.
The couple, who have two children, say they regularly entertain their two grandchildren in the garden but can no longer enjoy the view across St Michael’s Mount.
Mrs Lytton, a professional gardener trained by the Royal Horticultural Society, claims their lives have been ‘completely ruined’.
She added: ‘It’s now impossible to enjoy the garden because it’s like being in a goldfish bowl.
‘There’s nowhere in our garden to have a cup of coffee without being watched. We created the privacy banners so we would have some part of our garden where we wouldn’t be seen.
‘We used pictures of our neighbours looking out their windows. It works for two reasons.
‘First, it gives us an area where we can be without them looking at us, and secondly it shows them what it was like for us. I wanted to show them what it was like.
‘We would like to keep them there until something is done to fix the situation. We want corrective measures to fix the overlooking.’
The couple say can no longer enjoy the view across St Michael’s Mount (pictured)
The couple claim they have been ‘robbed of their privacy’ and their ‘lives have been ruined’ because residents using the balconies can now see into their garden
Mrs Lytton added: ‘We are very private people, that’s why we bought this house.
‘Before the property on the left was a converted barn that accommodated 10 people, now it has two people in it but it has doubled in size.
‘It has five balconies and five floor to ceiling windows, each one looks into our garden.
‘On the right, it was a low impact bungalow and they had a full-length extension on the top. They have two even bigger windows that overlook our garden.’
Neighbour Rupert Morrall, who lives in the neighbouring property Parc Sais, confirmed that he had been pictured on the privacy banner but declined to comment further.
The couple say they complained to Cornwall Council ‘but their concerns were not listened to.’
Mrs Lytton said: ‘Our objection stated that our privacy would be reduced by 90 per cent, but it was ignored. I think this was an act of bias and favour.’
The neighbouring properties were granted planning permission for balconies which overlook the couple’s garden
Cornwall Council said: ‘Residents are always given the opportunity to comment on planning applications on neighbouring properties.
‘Objections to a planning application don’t mean that a planning application is automatically refused.
‘All comments are assessed as part of the planning process and are weighed against national and local planning policy and guidance to then reach a conclusion.
‘Any complaints received regarding the processing of applications will be considered by the council in the first instance.
‘If the person making the complaint is not satisfied with the response from the council then they can refer their complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.
‘After that, their option is to take legal action at their own expense.
‘Any reports of a breach of planning controls are investigated by the council’s enforcement team and the person making the report receives an explanation on how any alleged breach has been resolved.’