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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11981
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My neighbour is adding a major extension to his house. He

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My neighbour is adding a major extension to his house. He has removed most of the roof and has knocked down internal and external walls. The noise is absolute hell added to which a radio playing constantly. This has been going on since beginning of June and it will certainly continue for several more months. The stress is making me ill. Can you help please
JA: What steps has your neighbor taken so far? Has he prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: He applied for Planning permission which was rejected twice but approved on appeal, he is a builder. I don't know of anything else
JA: Where is the house located?
Customer:***** Petts Wood, BR5 1GW. The work is only about 3 feet from my property and he is able to look into 3 bedrooms and my living room. I am 85 rears old with health problems and I live alone.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Is there is any action I can take and its likely success

Hi, this is Jim, thank you for the question - I will do my best to resolve this quickly for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue, it sounds like a bad situation however there are options available to you here. There is some detail to follow so please take time to digest the details and come back to me if you need any clarification.

You can consider a complaint to your local magistrates court under S.82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You would need evidence of the noise (preferably in a diary to prove the extent of the noise). If approved then the court will issue a noise abatement order. Before applying to the court you would need to send a warning letter to the neighbour (see attached template) to give them 3 clear days to stop.

If they persist, you can apply to the local magistrates court – if you contact the clerk at the court and say that you want to make a noise complaint.

The other option is to speak to the environmental health department at your local council – they are under a statutory duty to investigate noise disturbances and they can issue noise abatement orders on their own. I note the council are already involved (the planning department) but you can speak to the environmental health department to ask if they can help you here. They should as they are under a duty to do so in this situation.

As a last resort there is a further option and that would be to apply to the local county court for a civil injunction.

However, before you do this, send the neighbour a cease and desist letter to warn them of your intentions unless they stop (and give them 7 days to stop their conduct). A template “cease and desist” letter is available at https://www.lawdepot.co.uk/

If you go to the search box in the top right corner of the site, it will bring up a list - you want the "general" letter.

You can use your own letter if you wish - it just has to make it clear this is a cease and desist letter, that you demand they stop their conduct, and that if they do not within 7 days you will apply to the court for the injunction and seek your costs.

That letter may well be enough to stop the conduct - as an injunction is a serious legal remedy.

Assuming they continue, you will need to complete the application for the injunction and send to your county court with a fee of £308 payable to HMCTS (unless you have a low income/low savings and/or you are in receipt of benefits in which case you can get a fee exemption so you do not have to pay).

For a fee exemption you need to check your eligibility here:

http://www.gov.uk/get-help-with-court-fees. If you do not qualify for the fee exemption, you can pay either by cheque or attend the court and pay at the counter. You will need to prepare a witness statement to accompany the form.

You will need to detail the history of the issues with the neighbour to paint a picture for the Judge as they will not know what this neighbour is like and what they have done to you unless you describe it.

If the injunction application is successful you can ask the court for a costs order to be paid by the neighbour.

The court will list a hearing where you attend and ask the District Judge for an order and the injunction. The application would be made under the tort of nuisance due to excessive noise and Section 1 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 if you believe they are causing the noise on purpose. Harassment is defined as “unwanted conduct designed to cause the victim alarm or distress”.

If granted, the Order is then served on the individual concerned and they are bound by the court order - if they breach the order, they are in contempt of court and could well face a fine and a prison term.

The cease and desist letter may work so you may not need to apply but if you then I recommend you go to the court in person with the forms to ensure they are correct - they are fairly complex so it would save time by you doing this - the court staff should check them before they issue the papers.

If you do need to take that step and apply for the injunction, please come back here as I have the forms required. If you prefer a law firm to do the letter (and apply for the injunction if the letter has no effect) then try any of these firms :

  1. https://www.kingsleynapley.co.uk/services/department/dispute-resolution/injunctions

  2. https://www.gannons.co.uk/commercial-litigation/injunctions/

  3. https://www.ibblaw.co.uk/service/commercial-dispute-resolution/applying-injunction

I hope this helps and answers the question which is easy to understand - please feel free to ask me anything else. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Thanks for using our services and have a good day,
Jim

JimLawyer and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you very much for your reply. Would the constant drilling and banging be considered for an abatement order? I have complained to Building control and Health and Safety but it would appear I have to accept unavoidable building works noise even though the ongoing work is only about 3/4 feet from my house and has gone on for 6months already and doesn't appear an end for several more months. My Life is hell 5 and a half days a week. I can't stand much more.

Yes, I would say so, it sounds bad enough to send a noise abatement letter and then speak to the clerk at your local magistrates court to say you want to make a noise complaint against the neighbour - the clerk will send you a form to fill out.