Millionaire businessman could be forced to tear down glass rooftop terrace at his £2m Sandbanks mansion after neighbours complained it breached their ‘peace and privacy’

  • Residents in posh Sandbanks, Dorset, were fuming when the glass balustrade appeared without permission
  • Robert and Lisa built it on top of their mansion two years after buying the three-storey home for £2million
  • Mr Heffer submitted a retrospective planning application that would have allowed him to keep the terrace 
  • But council planning chiefs refused permission and said it was an, ‘odd and intrusive feature’ 

A millionaire businessman is facing have to tear down an illegal roof-top terrace after his neighbours complained it breached their privacy.

Residents in posh Sandbanks, Dorset, were furious when the glass balustrade appeared without permission on top of Robert and Lisa Heffer’s £2m mansion.

It created a roof terrace which has stunning views of Poole Harbour. Neighbours feared this would be used to host social soirees, leading to guests looking down on their private gardens and swimming pools.

The Heffers, who bought the three-storey house two years ago and have been refurbishing it ever since, insisted the glass balustrade was merely there to act as a screen for air conditioning units on the terraced roof.

Mr Heffer, who made his fortune through his stake in a family meat distribution business, submitted a retrospective planning application that would have allowed him to keep the terrace.

Some neighbours wrote letters of objection, citing a potential invasion of privacy if the terrace was allowed to remain.

Planning chiefs at Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council decided to refuse the structure permission, stating that it was an ‘odd and intrusive feature’ that would not be in keeping with the neighbourhood. 

A millionaire businessman is facing have to tear down an illegal roof-top terrace after his new neighbours complained it breached their privacy. Residents in posh Sandbanks, Dorset, were fuming when the glass bulastrade appeared without permission on top of Robert and Lisa Heffer’s £2m mansion

It created a roof terrace which has stunning views of Poole Harbour. Neighbours feared this would be used to host social soirees, leading to guests looking down on their private gardens and swimming pools

The Heffers, who bought the three storey house two years ago and have been refurbishing it ever since, insisted the glass balustrade was merely there to act as a screen for air conditioning units on the terraced roof

Dr Raymond Hill, who lives next door, said Mr Heffer had planted trees along his back garden to give his own swimming pool more privacy.

Dr Hill said: ‘It’s ironic because he would be invading everyone else’s privacy if the roof terrace is allowed to remain.

‘There are concerns that there will be parties on the roof.’

Another neighbour, Ross Holman, said: ‘I object to the glass balustrade that has been added to the roof of this property.

‘This was described in the application as screening.

‘However, it was not screening as it is clear glass and would in fact enable the use of the large roof of this property to be used as a social space.

‘This roof has clear views over the neighbouring properties’ private gardens and will remove the privacy they currently benefit from.

‘The local authority should use its enforcement powers to have the glass balustrade removed.’

Another neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: ‘It is not screening – it is clear glass.

‘If it was allowed to remain the roof could be used to host parties.

‘We want it taken down and the roof to only be used for essential maintenance.

‘It would set a dangerous precedent and disturb the peace and privacy of the neighbourhood.’

Scott Garvey wrote a letter of objection on behalf of his father-in-law who lives next door. In it he wrote: ‘The retrospective application for the glass balustrading is extremely frustrating.

‘When this was erected the developer assured planning that this was a maintenance platform for the air con, this was very obviously not the intended use.

‘This directly looks over and into my father-in-law’s garden, swimming pool, terrace and into his bedroom windows.’

Another neighbour, Ross Holman, said: ‘I object to the glass balustrade that has been added to the roof of this property. ‘This was described in the application as screening’

Planning chiefs at BCP Council decided to refuse the structure permission, stating that it was an ‘odd and intrusive feature’ that would not be in keeping with the neighbourhood

A spokesperson for Mr Heffer said they were confident that, once they spoke to the council, a balcony of some form would be allowed to remain

Sunny Poole Harbour is seen above. The town is hugely popular with tourists and homeowners for its picturesque views, good weather and exclusive food venues

Despite the council’s refusal to give permission for the terrace, a spokesperson for Mr Heffer said they were confident that, once they spoke to officials, a terrace of some form would be allowed to remain.

A spokesperson for Chapman Lily Planning, Mr Heffer’s planning agent, said: ‘We are confident that once we have talked to the council and amended our plans they will be allowed.

‘The screens are translucent so they are in no way impacting the way the neighbourhood looks.’

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