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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 11607
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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A neighbour is constructing an edifice in his back garden,

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A neighbour is constructing an edifice in his back garden, which will block some sunlight from my garden. I understand that the neighbour applied for and got planning permission for the edifice. I had understood that planning permission would not be granted for buildings which obstructed sunlight from a neighbours' garden. Can you clarify the situation?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Dunboyne, Co. Meath
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

1. Firstly, it is not correct to say that planning permission would not be granted for buildings which obstructed sunlight in a neighbour's garden. In fact, this occurs all the time. If you wish to assert your rights in a situation such as this, you can either raise an objection to the grant of planning permission, or else, you can seek to raise the "right to light" issue in a private law action. However, what planning permission does, is legalise the interference with the right to light, unless you can then raise the issue in a private law action. So, here, you are now limited to raising the right to light issue in a private law action.

2. To raise the right to light issue in private law proceedings, you will have to show a minimum of 20 years uninterrupted light flowing into your garden which is now being obstructed. You will also have to go to court to assert this right and get a declaration that there is an existing easement for right to light for the light flowing into your garden. You will now have to do this in private law proceedings against your neighbour. These proceedings would be taken in the Circuit Court and would involve you issuing proceedings against your neighbour seeking to uphold your right to light and to prevent him building the edifice for which he has been granted planning permission at the rear of his property.

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