We’re building a huge tunnel under our house on the cliffs to get a better view – our neighbors groaned but we fought them and WON

A PAIR won a neighborhood series as it was given Build a giant tunnel under her cliff-top house.

Richard and Karen Dance wanted to extend an existing tunnel that leads to an observation deck with panoramic views, so that it emanates from the basement of their vacation home.

The winners are a couple who encounter angry neighbors over plans to extend a tunnel leading to their vacation home's private viewing deck

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The winners are a couple who encounter angry neighbors over plans to extend a tunnel leading to their vacation home’s private viewing deckPhoto credit: Solent
Richard and Karen Dance said they were in the process of completing work, connecting the platform to the home that was started 100 years ago

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Richard and Karen Dance said they were in the process of completing work, connecting the platform to the home that was started 100 years agoPhoto credit: Solent

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But the couple faced criticism from other Isle of Wight residents, who said they were treating the village “like a playground”.

Neighbors were also concerned that the works could damage the cliff and affect property prices.

The Dances, who are in their 50s, applied for planning permission to extend the “unique” tunnel from their family home and under their front yard.

But the plans divided opinion in the small coastal village.

Isle of Wight Council, which had to call the tunnel, received six comments protesting it and six supporting it, its website showed.

All six objectors feared what effect the tunnel would have on the cliff’s integrity.

But advocates, including a civil engineer and a geologist, said that wasn’t the case.

Before making their decision today, councilors pledged to contest the bill over concerns surrounding the cliff.

And when the Dances gave the green light for the expansion, they decided it was “highly unlikely” that the tunnel would affect the cliff.

The motion read: “The proposal is essentially a domestic extension” that aims to “complete the circuit as originally intended in the 1920s”.

The entrance to the old tunnel is 30 feet from the property and “is not visible from any public vantage point.”

The plans add, “You have to know it’s there to see it.”

Tig Outlaw, a county and local councilor who had opposed the tunnel, said today he was “not happy” but “not entirely surprised” by the council’s decision.

The councilman said he intended to speak to fellow councilor Paul Brading – who also opposed the plans.

Both raised concerns about damage to the cliff.

Tig said: “We will not let this rest without questioning it.

“We generally feel that it is not appropriate to disturb a cliff that is somewhat fragile.

“Sometimes the decisions don’t take into account the broader community interest.”

But the council said it was “extremely unlikely that the plans would affect cliff stability” based on an expert’s analysis.

When approached, Mr Dance declined to comment.

We generally feel that disturbing a cliff that is somewhat fragile is not appropriate.

Tiger Outlawdistrict and municipal council

The Dances, who run a range of convenience stores and live in Brockenhurst in Hampshire’s New Forest, bought their holiday home on the Isle of Wight for £470,000 in 2013.

It is now valued at £650,000.

One of the neighbors who objected to the plans, Irmgard Keen, previously said: “A project like this is used as a playground by people who don’t live here permanently [could cause] Harm to the community living here.

“You would be better off spending that money supporting the cliff.

“It’s a community thing that affects us all and nature is the most important thing.

“Some people don’t know what to do with their money.”

The 66-year-old and his husband Chris, 65, are trying to sell their home and fear the tunnel could devalue nearby properties.

Chris added: “It just seems like an extravagance. It’s not the kind of thing you would use every day.

“The last thing we want is for the cliff path to be made impassable.

“It all seems a bit of a gamble for an unnecessary reason.”

But supporters of the plans didn’t think that would be the case.

Resident Sam Connelly, 47, director of an engineering firm, said: “The cliff hasn’t changed in a hundred years.

“We have glass negatives to prove it, there’s no difference between then and now.

“This is my personal opinion [the negative comments are] Unsupported speculation and amateur opinion.

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“If you look at the facts, the cliff face is absolutely intact – two independent geological structural reports have been made on the cliff.”

Sam added: “It will help stabilize the cliff. This work will protect and extend the life of our beautiful cliff walk.”

Many were concerned that further work would damage the cliff

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Many were concerned that further work would damage the cliffPhoto credit: Solent
But the Council has said that is

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But the Council has said that is “highly unlikely”.Photo credit: Solent

https://www.thesun.ie/money/9944536/couple-win-neighbour-fight-cliffside-tunnel/ We’re building a huge tunnel under our house on the cliffs to get a better view – our neighbors groaned but we fought them and WON

Fry Electronics Team

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