Forum Home» House Buying, Renting & Selling

What's the law on building an extension that blocks a neighbours window? - Page 2

New Post Advanced Search

Coronavirus: The latest from MSE


The MSE team is working extremely hard to keep the info we have about your travel rights, cancellation rights, sick pay (and more) up to date.
The official MSE guides: UPDATED MSE Coronavirus Guides

NEWSFLASH


New, free ‘Academoney’ course from MSE and the Open University launches
All the key areas of personal finance are covered, so that you can master your money decisions


What's the law on building an extension that blocks a neighbours window?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
23 replies 10.8K views
2

Replies

  • AlexMacAlexMac Forumite
    2.5K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    It's not so much a matter of "law" but of Local Planning Policy and interpretation by the Planning Authority (usually your local Council).
    Many local authorities publish Guidance on what's permissible; try googling "guidance on residential extensions" plus the name of your Council.

    My own area's document (which I know as we were consulted as a Resident's Association when it was in draft form) is very clear on this -

    "Windows should not overlook a habitable room or garden of a neighbouring property and as a general rule there should be no new windows in any side wall directly facing a neighbouring property other than windows serving bathrooms, WCs and landings..."

    But the Planning Portal is less precriptive, and suggests you ask local Planners. It's not even certain that your neighbour needed nor applied for Planning permission; it might be that they were advised that this was "permitted Development", or that they just put it up without permission, as Councils are sometimes too busy to enforce, even if they notice it. (we only stopped a major unapproved and illegal neigbouring upwards extension at a prior address by putting extreme pressure on the Council, at both Planning Official and Elected Councillor level, to enforce).

    Either way and as if you proceed, you will need to consult your neighbour, and maybe pay for a Party Wall Agreement (google it) you ought to

    - do your research; on general Planning policy (as in posts above) and specifically whether their address shows when you do a search of past Planning Applications on your Council's Planning website

    - have a quiet word with them; knock or drop them a note with a view to saying hello. You don't even have to be to precise about the detail of your possible intentions; maybe just ask if they did the extension themselves, and if so, what other neighbours and the Council's attitude was, or might be to any plans of your own.

    Of course it might be that they don't know because they bought the house as is, or are tenants, or that they are the kind of people who, having annoyed their neighbours with the noise and trauma of their own building project, will object to everyone else's out of sheer bleddymindedness.

    In which case, do you want them as neighbours!?
  • MossfarrMossfarr Forumite
    530 posts
    Hung up my suit!
    ✭✭
    We built our side extension up to the boundary 25+ years ago (with neighbours agreement). Last year our neighbours applied for planning permission for basically the same extension as ours but were refused. The reason given was that the second extension would change the status of the properties from Semi detached to terraced - an absolute no no. They had to settle for a single storey side extension with a one metre gap between the houses to retain their semi detached status.
  • SmodletSmodlet Forumite
    6.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Mossfarr wrote: »
    We built our side extension up to the boundary 25+ years ago (with neighbours agreement). Last year our neighbours applied for planning permission for basically the same extension as ours but were refused. The reason given was that the second extension would change the status of the properties from Semi detached to terraced - an absolute no no. They had to settle for a single storey side extension with a one metre gap between the houses to retain their semi detached status.

    So it's not the same rules for everyone; whoever gets in first gets the gravy, all right, extension? Really does not seem fair, does it?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    G_M's stickies have come unstuck!
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Planning applications are only assessed on the information put in front of them against the local plan.
    I'm not aware of any local plan where potential future development is a planning consideration. Things that are built have affect things that aren't built, it's fairly simple in that regard. Saying neighbours are selfish by building to the boundary is absolute nonsense, they would have gone through a normal planning process to get permission and what's built obviously meets the requirements of the local plan, who knows maybe they thought it was selfish for the inconsiderate neighbours to have a house where it would have a nice big extension...
  • I can't find anything on the council's planning website for that address, so wondering if they didn't have permission. But I agree that it's probably a case of they got there first.
  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
    28.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Smodlet wrote: »
    So it's not the same rules for everyone; whoever gets in first gets the gravy, all right, extension? Really does not seem fair, does it?

    Rules will have changed in 25 years. If the person you quoted had applied for permission now and been the first people to build, they would actually get the same response as their neighbour is getting now.

    It is not a case of them getting there first. It is a case of planning rules changing as a result of people building second storeys right up to the boundary.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • deannatroisdeannatrois Forumite
    7.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    I think, due to what you want to do to this property, I'd be looking for other properties more amenable to my needs. It sounds like you would just be walking into hassle with this one. There has to be an alternative without these problems.
  • Yes it seems this is the case.
  • Mike1955Mike1955 Forumite
    6 posts
    Our extention was built 25 years ago , aprox 3 mtrs . We have had new neighbours move in recently and they now say our footings are on there property and want us to remove our extention .does anyone know what can be done . Any help please
  • davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
    17K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mike1955 wrote: »
    Our extention was built 25 years ago , aprox 3 mtrs . We have had new neighbours move in recently and they now say our footings are on there property and want us to remove our extention .does anyone know what can be done . Any help please
    Less confusing for everyone if you start your own thread rather than tag your question onto a rather different one.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support