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Google executive calls in police amid bitter planning row

A Google executive called in police amid a bitter planning row with a neighbour who complained that an extension to his million-pound house ran 1.5 inches onto her land.

Koert Holtgreve, 44, head of territory sales for Google in the UK and Ireland, made a harassment claim against Janet Highland after they fell out over the extension at his property in Peckham.

Mrs Highland claims a new six-yard wall built on the property boundary has devalued her home. 

Koert Holtgreve’s home is on the left, and Janet Highland’s on the right. The disputed boundary is the fence at the centre of the image, taken yesterday

Mr Holtgreve denies this and made a harassment complaint against her for speaking ‘in a derogatory way’ to him and his partner, opera singer Emily Wenman.

Police issued her with a harassment warning in June, which she disputes and has formally complained about.

The warning also noted an incident during which Mrs Highland ‘followed a labourer from the address making money signs at him’.

Mr Holtgreve moved into the three-bedroom house early last year and lives there with Ms Wenman and their six-month-old son.

He told The Evening Standard: ‘The police have advised us not to have any contact with [Mrs Highland] and that we should call them if they approach, speak or attempt to access our property.’

But Mrs Highland hit back, saying the police notice was ‘unfair’ as she had not harassed Mr Holtgreve ‘whatsoever’.

Mrs Highland (pictured yesterday) claims a new six-yard wall built on the property boundary has devalued her home by running 1.5 inches onto her land

Mrs Highland (pictured yesterday) claims a new six-yard wall built on the property boundary has devalued her home by running 1.5 inches onto her land

She also referred to a noise warning issued against her by Southwark council after a complaint from Mr Holtgreve, claiming this was for ‘playing Frank Sinatra a bit too loudly at four in the afternoon’.

Mrs Highland claims the new wall stretches further than it was meant to under the original planning permission.

Before the permission was granted, a council planning officer noted that the wall, ‘Would to not result in a significant loss of daylight/sunlight, nor will it create and unacceptable sense of enclosure’ at Mrs Highland’s address.

Mr Holtgreve (pictured in an undated image) moved into the three-bedroom house early last year and lives there with Ms Wenman and their six-month-old son

Mr Holtgreve (pictured in an undated image) moved into the three-bedroom house early last year and lives there with Ms Wenman and their six-month-old son

Southwark Council said: ‘It is not the role of any planning authority to make decisions on property ownership or boundary disputes as these are matters of private law.

‘The council’s planning team make assessments on structures based on criteria like their size, quality and impact on surrounding properties with regards to areas like sunlight or overlooking.

‘Our officers have investigated the complaint and found the building does not cause any planning harm, so there is no basis in law for the council to take enforcement action.

‘If the property owner is disputing the boundary then the courts are the only body that can decide that issue.’

The Metropolitan Police said: ‘In May 2017 a complaint was made to police against two neighbours, following alleged damage to a fence caused by building work.

‘In June 2017, a harassment warning was issued to the complainants who have disputed it. This has been passed to the local policing team for mediation.

‘Officers have met and spoken with both parties several times; this is a civil dispute and there have been no arrests at any point.’ 

Mr Holtgreve's house is pictured on the left and Mrs Highland's on the right in an image taken yesterday

Mr Holtgreve’s house is pictured on the left and Mrs Highland’s on the right in an image taken yesterday



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