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Property purchase solicitor report - neighbour planned extension - no right to light?

maximise
maximise Posts: 141
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edited 10 November 2023 at 6:01PM in House buying, renting & selling
keen to hear your experiences with neighbour extensions - I don't think there is any cause for concern, other than the potential for building works noise etc.

out of interest I've just received a groundsure report from the solicitor regarding the property I've had an offer accepted on,


next-door neighbour has planning permission granted to extend single-storey 4m out back of house, and this was over 12 months ago now.


- both properties detached with each having a footpath width (2 widths) of separation, plenty of space between..


- I believe back of houses are aligned/ flush with each other:

 - The property I've had an offer accepted on has an existing conservatory protruding 3m out the back of the house.

 - The next-door property plan shows build to protrude 4m out the back of house - (1m longer than purchase property)



- I'm new to the 45 degree rule - in a hypothetical scenario could each neighbour keep extending longer than each other, as long as 45 degree rule is maintained or is it strictly based on the original property wall line.



Look forward to learning more, many thanks

Comments

  • tetrarch
    tetrarch Posts: 241
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    The 4m has almost certainly been chosen as the maximum under Permitted Development rules.

    If you follow this link.....

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/permitted-development-rights-for-householders-technical-guidance

    ....you may very well come to regret your last sentence.

    Regards

    Tet


  • maximise
    maximise Posts: 141
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    Thank you, have been trying to estimate the impact of the extension on sunlight,

    property rear is SSW, south-south-west facing.

    looking at the next-door extension plan, it doesn't specify height but to scale, looks just under 3m in height.


    I've found two sun light on map simulators, called shadowcalculator and shademap


    suggests half the conservatory likely to be cast shadow for 3+ hrs in the morning sun, but it's difficult to simulate and appreciate what it would look like in real-life, would be good to hear any of your experience
  • maximise
    maximise Posts: 141
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    brief update - next-door extension plan looks perfectly reasonable to me, and the Local Council Planning Department Site Visit Report says:
    ____________________________________
    "There is no breach of
    the 45 degree line from neighbouring
    properties, and the development has an
    acceptable impact on the neighbours in
    terms of outlook and light. The proposed
    development is considered acceptable and
    in accordance with Local Plan Policy"
    _____________________________________


    but I've just found a statement in the solicitor the property report which sounds strange, I'll query this line with solicitor on Monday,

    "The title contains a declaration which stops the house acquiring any right to light over neighbouring property. This means that you would not be able to object to any development on the basis of the diminished light."

    Not sure how this can be. Otherwise what's to stop a neighbour build all down their garden?



    ___________________________________________________________________________
    - Rights over the Property
    These are described in the Land Registry Title Information.
    Houses may sometimes enjoy a right of light over adjoining land or be subject to a
    neighbour’s right of light. A right of light is a legal right for the windows in a house to receive

    light across a neighbour’s property. Rights of light might prevent an owner from building an
    extension which would obstruct an adjoining owner’s rights.
    When houses are built as part of a development it is common for the transfer deed to contain
    a declaration that the property sold shall not acquire rights over an adjoining land, except for
    any rights specifically granted. The title contains a declaration which stops the house
    acquiring any right to light over neighbouring property. This means that you would not be
    able to object to any development on the basis of the diminished light.
    There is a reserved right to the neighbouring property, out of which this property was
    originally transferred to continue to run any drainage pipes and other service media that may
    be running over or under the land for the benefit of that adjoining property. All this is saying
    is that the property can continue to benefit from any such service media that runs over or
    under the land you are purchasing.
    There is a reference to easements and/or quasi-easements reserved but which are not
    specifically defined. This reserves to the owners of neighbouring or adjoining land all the
    rights which you would expect to come with the property, such as the benefit of drainage or
    services that may cross the property you are buying.

    - Covenants
    If restrictive covenants are imposed on the owner of the Property when the plot was sold by
    the original house builder and if similar covenants were imposed on all the plots in the street,
    these covenants may still be enforceable by one house owner against another. If you
    purchase the property, you may be obliged to observe them, and you may be entitled to
    require the neighbouring owners to observe them. Any which affect the property are shown
    in the Charges Register in the Title Information. Even if these covenants are not strictly
    enforceable in law, planning restrictions imposed by the Local Authority may in practice have
    a similar effect.
    A positive covenant may also have been imposed requiring the owner of the Property to
    maintain fences. If that is the case whilst it is unlikely that anyone could legally enforce
    compliance with this covenant, in practice you should be prepared to maintain such fences
    and the other fences bounding the Property, at your own cost. Any such fences I have
    indicated on the plan by the letter “T” inwards.



    ___________________________________________________________________________
  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,483
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    maximise said:

    but I've just found a statement in the solicitor the property report which sounds strange, I'll query this line with solicitor on Monday,

    "The title contains a declaration which stops the house acquiring any right to light over neighbouring property. This means that you would not be able to object to any development on the basis of the diminished light."

    Not sure how this can be. Otherwise what's to stop a neighbour build all down their garden?

    Planning law.

    The amount of their garden they can build on as permitted development is restricted, and if they apply for planning consent the planners will have regard to the impact of the proposed development on neighbouring properties.

    If I read the solicitor's text correctly, they are talking about the more specific 'diminished light' claim under the Right to Light Act(s) - this is a form of easement and isn't the same as your right to make a representation (e.g. objection) if the neighbours make a planning application.

    But check with your solicitor to make sure that is what they mean.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,287
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    Also the covenant would not prohibit objecting to a planning application on any grounds.
  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,327
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    The planners, perhaps surprisingly, are well versed in planning law, so they don’t usually take much notice of objections from neighbours. 

    It is a requirement to consult, so they go through the process, but often the comments are simply classified as for or against the planning application, and it makes little difference what the neighbours write. 


    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
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