Neighbour's extension will block our light/view in The AnswerBank: Home & Garden (2023)

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Choc Drop | 18:41 Mon 07th Mar 2005 |

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Mynext-door neighbourwants to build an extension to their house. It will cause a 2 storey brick wall to be built approx 3 metres from our kitchen window. This would block outthe light to our kitchen.

An extension was built to the house before by the previous owners,this was done while we were away on holiday. When we returned, we saw that the extension had gone up, crossing 1 ft onto our land, had moved our fence and taken some of our driveway. At the time, we did not get into an argument over it. This time though, we strongly object to the application for extension, as we feel that we have suffered enough already, given that we have already lost out due to the previous extension.

The council has informed us of the proposed development, looking for our comments. Can anyone advise if they know how strong our position would be on this matter, as we are concerned that our objections may be ignored and we may suffer once again.

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Can I suggest that you need to see a solicitor without delay? You may very well have complicated the issue by not objecting the first time your property was invaded. I don't know if there is such a thing as a "right to light" in your area but you really need expert advice. Good luck.

21:24 Mon 07th Mar 2005


Try going to see the planning officer at the council make notes before you go of your objections so you don't forget anything, see what they have to say they may be able to give you an opinion if it will be allowed or not, youwill then be able to write in giving your objections. There should also be a council leaflet available on how to object. See your local councillors,parish,town, local county etc ask them for help

22:03 Mon 07th Mar 2005


You may also enquire whether planning permission was obtained for the first extension. If not, then it may need to be removed.

The land encroachment may also become an issue when you want to sell, so take this opportunity to fix it

08:53 Tue 08th Mar 2005


I agree with all the previous entries. These are the facts:

By not objecting to the origional extension you have allowed your neighbours to squat on your land. If the extension is over 12 years old then you've lost that part of your property, it now belongs to them.

In regards to the origional extension you are poss. in luck. if you were away for the entire period of construction, i.e. you never saw any evidence of building until you arrived home and found a copmpleted structure, you may have some recourse through the council.

The right to light is an objective test, i.e. it is based on a minimum requirement. Objecting to the extension on right to light grounds would turn on what other light is coming into the room (other windows) and how much light you would get once the wall is built.

Don't go to a solicitor yet, you will be paying for stuff you can do yourself. Go to the Citizen's Advice Bureau and get info on complaining about the origional extension and immediately object to the new application for permission.

11:09 Tue 08th Mar 2005


I only know very little about planning and building regs approval, but how could they get away with this? Surely it hasn't been done to planning or building regs approval. For a start, how would they get planning permission to encroach onto your property, and surely when the building control officer came to inspect the footings before concrete was poured he would have noticed the fact that they were on your land.

I second what the other posters say, take some advice, this building may have no permission to be there at all and you may have recourse for removal.

12:06 Tue 08th Mar 2005


I help out a friend recently with a similar extension being built. If you look at your councils web-site regarding planning you'll find that they've got rules about what is considerred maximum permitted development. It details the maximum that they will normally agree to for a praticular type of property and rules about distances from existing windows etc.

If your neighbours are anything like my friends' they'll already know this and will have put in for basically the maximum.

The thing to bear in mind is that planning offices are very concerned about seting precidents. If nobody else in your street has a similar sized extension then you should emphasise this when you object to the planning permission. In our case there was a similar sized one but crucially the houses were seperated by a greater distane in that case. We emphasised this.

Call the planning office and talk to them, you may well get an indication of how favorably they're viewing this. If you can get your parish council on-board to object that can be very powerful.

Have they lived there long? It's not a ground for objection but if you can subtly imply that they deliberatly bought a house insufficient for them simply assuming that the council would be a push over that might well loose them sympathy.

In our case the applicants were encouraged to withdraw the planning request and to go for a single storey which they did.

13:30 Tue 08th Mar 2005

Choc Drop

Question Author

Thanks everyone. Your advice was invaluable. We have written a letter of objection to the council, which we have just sent off. We are planning to go to Citizens Advice too, to see where we stand. One of the problems is that the neighbour is not beyond making life very difficult for us if we object to their plans,if you know what I mean, so we reallyhavetowatch ourselves, and hope that we don't lose out every which way the situation goes. Thanks again for the info. Much appreciated!

18:07 Thu 10th Mar 2005


Hi - I used to be a council building control officer and know a little about your situation.

The existing existing probably didn't need planning permission due to it's size etc. It would have needed building regulation permission but this does not control who's land it is built on. That would be a contactual issue and tresspass law comes into it. The 12 year rule is due to change shortly to make things simplier (suposedly).

As to the proposed extension, there is usually a 45 degree rule regarding right of light. If the proposed extension projects outside this imaginary 45 degree line then it is too big. Some planning polices say a max 3m out.

Even if they get the go ahead, you are still entitled to a party wall surveyor (paid by the building owner) to oversee works ensuring that they are built correctly as you technically now have a "party" wall. If they don't serve you with a party wall notice then you have the right to serve them with a court injunction stopping works until a party wall surveyor has been appointed and an award issued. You also have the right to appoint your own surveyor and for your neighbours to pay these costs. Look up

Hope this helps

21:39 Thu 10th Mar 2005


I had a very similar situation last year. Unfortunately, if the room you believe will have it's light restricted in has more than one window, then it is unlikely that planning permission will be refused for that reason.

The one thing I would advise you to do is to
contact a surveyor. They should be able to
firstly advise you on the law regarding the first extension and whether you have any recourse for it being built on your land, and secondly the regulations regarding the second extension. A party wall act could be drawn up (and paid for by your neighbour). It cannot stop the extension being built if planning permission is granted, unless, that is,your neighbour fails to comply with any of the regulations, however it will protect you, your rightsand your own property.

12:26 Mon 14th Mar 2005


This happened to me at a previous house and it was allowed to go ahead. My answer was to build my own extension next to theirs

20:56 Sun 08th Mar 2020

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