FUMING residents are desperate to see their neighbors’ luxury garden shacks demolished, as they say it’s a total invasion of their privacy.
Michael and Nicola Illingworth, whose outdoor space is overlooked by the high-end sheds, have also complained that they have lowered the value of their home.
They claim that one of the cottages has water dripping down the gutter into their garden – a nightmare for them and any potential buyer.
And the other is a permanent eyesore that makes your dog bark.
The only solution they now see to the problem is to knock them both down.
Nicola, who grew furious when the council subsequently granted planning permission to her neighbors, said: “People come over and say, ‘What on earth is this?’
“We assume that the value of the house will have gone down.
“We will not sell and are considering what we can do to improve the situation.”
She added that the couple could install a screen or even raise the fence, but admitted “the irony is we’d need a permit for that.”
Dad-of-two David added that neighbor Brian Edwards’ cubicle is causing their Labrador pup Pippa to bark uncontrollably.
“When there are people on the patio, our dog starts barking,” he said.
“It has affected our lives in many ways.
“We have big windows downstairs so we can’t get away from that. We feel it has completely invaded our privacy.
“It definitely created an atmosphere. When we walk past them, it’s like looks can kill.”
Michael claims neither Brian, 43, nor his colleague David Carr, who spent a whopping £33,000 on his, “never came around to explain what they do”.
And he insists things would be very different if they had spoken beforehand.
Michael, from Wynyard in Teesside, added: “When you’re buying a house, buy one big enough that you don’t have to build an outside cabin.”
But David believes officer Michael, 43, and medical journalist Nicola, 40, are just jealous because they would actually like to have a garden bar with a gym and wood-burning stove themselves.
People come over and say, ‘What on earth is that?’
He said: “I honestly don’t know what Michael’s problem is.
“I think he’s probably jealous and wants one of his own. It’s not a nice atmosphere.”
David, managing director of a gas and utility company, has spent tens of thousands on his luxurious cabin, which comes complete with a wet bar, pool table and playground for his children.
The 49-year-old, who lives in his large family home with his wife Sarah and children Zachary, 10, and Jayme, 5, said he built it over the lockdown because he couldn’t go to the pub.
David, who insists his shed doesn’t make any noise, said: “Michael bought his house after I got mine and my cabin was being built when he moved in.
“He complained to Bellway, the builder of the houses, but they didn’t act because I didn’t need a permit.
“I wasn’t worried as I knew my cabin was compliant. I got my builder to come and check it again and he said it was fine.”
David said Michael then tried to get him to the council and he later got a letter saying they wanted to come out and investigate.
The council gave him the all-clear – but he says the threats have come further.
David claims Michael’s mum even confronted him over the fence and berated him for “you and your loud music” – but he cheekily hit back, telling her he was only doing it to “annoy” her.
The Wynyard Estate is a sprawling and luxurious development where homes sell for an average of half a million pounds.
It’s home to former Dragon’s Den star Duncan Bannatyne and footballers like Tommy Miller and Steve Baker.
Brian lives next door to David with his family and has a smaller cabin in his backyard that he built for relaxing.
However, his shed is the one that Nicola and Michael have the biggest problem with, as they say the raised porch has ruined their privacy.
After the couple filed a complaint, Brian had to apply for retrospective approval, which has now been granted.
A hot tub rests on the cabin’s elevated deck and also has a dart board, indoor gym, play area, and fridge for beers.
Brian said: “I work from home and have a two-year-old son. I have decided to have the cabin built due to the lockdown.
“I have a hot tub that I use for hydrotherapy because I have early onset arthritis.
“I also have a mini fridge for drinks. We’ve never had parties in it.”
Brian claims that when he moved in he went around, introduced himself to the neighbors and bought everyone a bottle of wine.
But he admitted: “I could tell from the start that the couple who complained were not happy.
“You were the only ones who didn’t say thank you.”
Addressing the issue of the water leak, Brian said, “It has a drainage system that drains water not only from our yard but also from hers.”
He added that the couple’s complaint had sparked “a month of worry” – and that living with the couple had “not been nice”.
But he claims to have “the support of many neighbors”.