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james bruce
james bruce, Solicitor-Advocate
Category: Law
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Experience:  Owner at James Bruce Solicitors
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I have been trying to read and understand about restrictive

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I have been trying to read and understand about restrictive covenants as our neighbour (attached) has applied for planning permission for an extension which we are not happy about as part of it would result in a 9.5 x10.5 foot brick wall being within 4 to 6 inches of our patio doors and clearly visible from our dining room and patio area, which to us would be an annoyance. I expect there is a restrictive covenant in his deeds as there is in ours relating to not doing anything in or upon the property which shall or may become or cause a nuisance or annoyance to any of the owners or occupiers of the adjoining or neighbouring properties. I am in the process of obtaining a copy of the Title Register to his property from HM Land Registry, as a general search for the property says it does contain a covenant. Just wondering if it would be best to try doing something about it before planning is granted (which I am expecting it to be as our Borough Council seem to pass most applications), or wait and see what happens i.e. if planning is approved. Should we wait before we instruct a solicitor or do so straight away?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: We are in Kent, England.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We have sent in an objection to the planning department in response to the statutory notice they have to give when someone applies for planning permission. However, having had a chat with the architect that drew up our side and front extension (which wasn't attached or near any of our boundaries, he says that the Borough Council don't care about light, views or much else, really.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Not that I can think of, although my partner did chat with the neighbour regarding party wall agreements and the fact that we weren't happy about the rear extension. He said he wasn't aware of party wall agreements, but think he was just acting innocent. Lots of niggling things at the moment which I don't believe we can do anything about and haven't created a fuss about - one thing is that he has a caravan now parked on his patio which his wife is appararently using as an office to study. It is within about 18 inches of the boundary fence and obviously in view from our dining room - it was down the side of his house, but for some reason he has moved it to the rear. Just thinking about the whole thing is getting me down and I just want to know if it is worth trying to do anything about the rear extension and the best way to go about it. Thanks
Hello, I hope you are well. My name is***** am a solicitor advocate and I will be assisting you with your question today. I am very sorry to hear of the problem you are experiencing and I will do my best to help you with this matter. 

“become or cause a nuisance or annoyance to any of the owners or occupiers of the adjoining or neighbouring properties”

The above clause would normally apply to activities taking place at the property, ie running a business, loud music ie drums etc.

It does not necessarily apply to an extension.

You can as you have done so, object to the council.

Also seek advice from a local solicitor who can check the deeds, and look for any other possible restrictions in the area

As for the caravan, May may be classed as a nuisance. Again check deeds but also local council for this, as often in some areas caravans are not allowed to be kept in the front and / or used at home.

Can I assist or clarify anything further?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you for your reply. I have been reading about restrictive covenants and came across the case of Dennis v Davis in 2009 where something similar was applied to an extension. The High Court denied the chap from building his extension, and wondered if it could apply to my situation, or if in fact things have changed since then.What type of specialist solicitor should I be looking for and any tips on finding a good one?

Certainly this case could be used as an argument. As it takes the 

tort of nuisance at common law and gives wider protection.

Each case would be dealt with on a case by case basis. But it is a good starting point to argue.

You would need to loom for property law firm who deals with litigation.

It may be helpful to instruct a local solicitor who specialises in this area of law. You can find a local firm using the Law Society website. www.lawsociety.org.uk

Once on that website, you can click on the find a solicitor option located just above the Law Society logo. Select quick search, then select the area of law required and enter your post code. A list of local firms will then be displayed. 

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you for the tip. I will have a go.

Your welcome, good luck.

Thank you for using Just Answer and for allowing me to assist you with your legal enquiry. I am pleased I was able to be of assistance. Please do not hesitate to come back to me for further advice on this or any other legal matter. It will be my pleasure to be able to assist you again.

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