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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14109
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My neighbour as just received planning permission to build

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my neighbour as just received planning permission to build an house extention that comes up to within a metre of my living room window taking all my natural light. I never thought it was possible to do this.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: i have only received the letter of being passed this morning. I did send my reasons for my objections about not being able to take my light and the 45 degree shaddow they were taking . Plus photos of my view as it stands. How they could pass it is behond me.
JA: Where is the house located?
Customer: my bungalow is 23 redhill kiveton park sheffield s266qa . the house in question is 21 redhill. Let me point out my bungalow was the first to be built on our road.1929 approx.and was built by the man that owned the field it was built upon. He built not facing the road but sigeways with the bedrooms facing the road..the house no 21 should never have been built just below and would never get planning permission now. the lady in the planning office addmits this With 2 windows facing the house 21 and one window facing into my garden they tell me this is taken as my main window. no one came to see me or had a word. Just think of this if someone built a large brick wall about a metre in front of your house window Jo
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: only that I am 90 year old so be patient with me.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore I maybe delayed in replying.

are you asking if there is anything you can do about this decision now?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I am back with you as my day out i told you about yesterday has been cancelled as we are flooded in. Someone was booked to call me but no one did. I had a doctors appointment booked at 3.30 and didnt want you to think I had left you high and dry as I suddenly realised it was 3.15 and I didnt realise that it would cost me £44. It was only to not lose you. I live near sheffield /rotherham it would be pointless talking to someone not local. So I will request again that I get my money back if this as not already be done If you want to continue with my case then tell me by return.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
no more to add

This concerns the right to light as you are aware

 

During the course of answering you, I will give you some background from a variety of points of view which will hopefully explain the overall situation.

 

Let me say first, there is no right to a view.

 

This is also nothing whatsoever to do with whether you have been granted planning permission or not if light is obstructed by, for example, an extension. That is a separate issue although the planning people are supposed to consider the light issue. The guidelines however don’t require the loss of light to be considered with regard to non-habitable rooms.

 

The loss of light however applies regardless of planning and regardless of whether the loss is to a habitable room or a garage or whatever. It does not however apply to a garden which loses light. It can however affect “amenity” in the garden.

 

If a neighbour, allows plants to grow over their neighbours window, so as to obstruct light by more than 50% and apart from a potential action in nuisance, there is also an action in respect of the right to light.

 

 

If this blocks the view, then that is indeed unfortunate, There is nothing in law an owner can do provided it isn’t a nuisance and there is no breach of any consent.

 

I will add that there is also no right to a TV signal either so if it blocks a TV signal, other arrangements will have to be made. There is already case law on that.

 

The right to light is different. If a property has acquired the right to light (it depends how old the property is, there may be a remedy.

There is no absolute right to light from across neighbouring land, although this right can be ‘earned’.

 

Under the Prescription Act 1832 a right to light can be acquired provided the light has been uninterrupted for at least 20years. However, this right applies most commonly to a building, and more particularly, to the window through which the light enters.

 

An owner needs to check the deeds of the neighbouring property to see whether the right to light has been specifically excluded and you can get the land registry deeds for three quid by following this link.

 

 

https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/

 

 

If the right to light is specifically excluded, there is nothing that a neighbour can do even if it makes the room pitch black

 

 

The light must be reduced by at least 50% before the right is deemed obstructed. Let me tell you now that 50% is an awful lot of light and it will not even be approaching that in most circumstances. A specialist surveyor with experience in right to light matters would be essential from the likes of

 

 

http://www.right-of-light.co.uk/

 

you will find the site most useful and the calculation is here

 

 

 

http://www.right-of-light.co.uk/calculations.htm

 

 

BUT, if a title specifically excludes the right to light, there is nothing an owner can do regarding light . This is most common if both e pieces used to belong to the same person and one part was sold off and the seller excluded right to light. You need to check their deeds.

You can get their deeds and plan for three quid each respectively by following this link

 

https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/!ut/p/b1/04_SjzS0tDQwMTIxMjLXj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKNjSxMDA1NjDwsjM3MDTxN3dyNDUNMjQ1MjPWDU_P0c6McFQH3SLFU/

 

 

Here is a bit more reading for you in general

 

 

http://www.right-of-light.co.uk/rights.htm

 

So you need to start with ascertaining exactly how much light you have lost. Unless it’s more than 50 percent, you have no cause of action.

Even then, your remedy would be compensation for the lack of light unless the building has not already started in which case, notwithstanding the granting of planning consent, you could potentially get an injunction to stop the building going ahead.

 

The planning issue and the right to light do touch each other they are actually separate.

 

Can I clarify anything else for you?

 

I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

 

Please take a moment to look at the top right-hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen.

 

You may need to login again to use the rating service. Although it says "rate to finish" it doesn't close the thread and we can still exchange emails.

 

It's important that you use the rating service because that gives me credit.

 

It doesn't just give me a pat on the head! It's what gets me paid!!

 

There is also an experts incentive scheme whereby the more 5 star ratings I get I do actually get a pat on the head!

 

All you need to do is press Submit.

 

Thank you.

 

If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

 

Best wishes.

 

FES

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
thank you for your input. it looks a difficult path but i will think about which way is best for me. the last thing is have I got my £44 back as no one ever phoned me

I am glad to house.

I can’t comment on the 44 pounds for the telephone call because there was no request for a telephone call ever made on the thread here.

Remember, it does stay open and if you need any further replies, I am happy to look at that for you and advise you accordingly.

Best wishes.

 

 

 

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
thanks for your reply on my £44 I have just been on with the bank and they say the amount taken was£43.68. what do I do now?

If you can use the rating service to rate 5 stars, that gets me paid and I can then contact customer services for you and they will reimburse you. They do have an excellent refund record.

The only reason I can’t do that until you rate the answer is because it closes the thread. Thank you.

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