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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have a neighbour who is planning to build a 2 storey extension

Resolved Question:

I have a neighbour who is planning to build a 2 storey extension 4 metres to the rear of their house. this will block all sunlight in to my garden and light in to my kitchen, do I have grounds to object to the planning application? there house is 2 metres between houses
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

Have they made an application for planning permission please?

Joshua :

Do you have any rights to light over their land in your title deeds?

Joshua :

Is your property over 20 years old?

Customer:

No we do not have any rights, the property is around 17 years old

Customer:

are you there??

Joshua :

Thanks. Yes I am. with your permission, I will I will be with you in just a moment. I have just had to take a telephone call...

Customer:

ok

Customer:

sorry forgot to answer, yes they have made an application for planning permission, which is how we have found out.

Joshua :

sorry for the delay in reverting to you. It is a great pity that your property is less than 20 years old as if it was more than 20 years old, you may have rights to light by prescription - i.e. by long use - which you could seek to enforce irrespective of any planning permission that is granted. However, if your property is less than 20 years old and there are no rights mentioned in your title deeds regarding rights to light over the neighbours land, this aspect is not assist unfortunately however there are steps you can potentially look to take in respect of planning permission as follows:

Joshua :

the most effective approach to objecting to a planning application is typically to concentrate on the aspects of proposed development which are likely to be unacceptable in terms of visual impact and loss of light, the effect on the character of a neighbourhood, noise and disturbance, overlooking and loss of privacy. The likely effect of the development on your residential amenity is an important consideration for the council

Joshua :

If you think the development looks ugly, then you can say so, and in particularly can comment if you consider it is over-bearing, out-of-scale or out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity.

Customer:

the main problem is the shadow it is going to pose on my property

Joshua :

in addition, if you can seek other neighbours to object as well this will typically add weight to your objection but so far as possible, framing your objection with particular focus on the following aspects will produced your best chance of success:
• Adverse effect on the residential amenity of neighbours, by reason of (among other factors) noise, disturbance, overlooking, loss of privacy, overshadowing, but providing that this does not include noise or disturbance arising from the actual execution of the works, which will not be taken into account]
• Unacceptably high density / overdevelopment of the site, especially if it involves loss of garden land or the open aspect of the neighbourhood (‘garden grabbing’)
• Visual impact of the development
• Effect of the development on the character of the neighbourhood
• Design (including bulk and massing, detailing and materials, if these form part of the application)
• The proposed development is over-bearing, out-of-scale or out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity
• The loss of existing views from neighbouring properties would adversely affect the residential amenity of neighbouring owners
• [If in a Conservation Area, adverse effect of the development on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area]
• [If near a Listed Building, adverse effect of the development on the setting of the Listed Building.]
• The development would adversely affect highway safety or the convenience of road users [but only if there is technical evidence to back up such a claim].

Joshua :

as you will note, overshadowing neighbouring property is a significant factor that can be taken into account by the local authority and this will form at least part of your objection from what you say though if you can find other bases on which to frame your objection in the above context you should consider adding such additional points to your letter of objection

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

the extension takes most of their garden and a window overlooks mine from the side, will this make any difference?

Joshua :

there are the added components of loss of privacy with regards XXXXX XXXXX overlooked by the window and the fact that you can claim that the proposal constitutes over developments for the size of the plot. councils do not tend to like extensions which are disproportionate to the size of the plot and therefore this is well worth raising

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer:

no thats fine thanks, XXXXX XXXXX rating of 1 to 10 where would you put the likelyhood of our objection being succesful?

Joshua :

this is a very difficult question to answer is so much can depend upon the location and attitude of the local authority in terms of its planning policy. However, the more of the bullet point "boxes" you can "tick" (so to speak) in terms of your objection, the more likely it is that the permission will be refused. From what you say, your key areas which you would seek to exploit would be annoyed and of overdevelopment for the size of the plot which is typically frowned upon by councils and which may require at the very least the neighbours to significantly scale back their proposals; then there is from the council's point of view (though not yours) less significant objections in respect of loss of light which is an important consideration nevertheless and loss of privacy they this latter point within practice easily be dealt with by a requirement for them to install frosted glass.

Joshua :

If you develop it is as large as you suggest, I would consider that there is a reasonably good chance that the Council will require the same to be scaled back in terms of the development size vis-a-vis the plot and the impact upon neighbouring properties in terms of loss of light. These are important considerations for planning officers.

Customer:

ok thanks

Joshua :

Sorry typo above.If you develop it is as large as you suggest = if the development is as large as you suggest...

Customer:

thats all thank you

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

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