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  • FIRST POST
    • Maggie841
    • By Maggie841 13th Apr 18, 11:04 AM
    • 6Posts
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    Maggie841
    What's the law on building an extension that blocks a neighbours window?
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:04 AM
    What's the law on building an extension that blocks a neighbours window? 13th Apr 18 at 11:04 AM
    Ok, we are going to view a 3 bed house and one of the things that attracted us to it was that we could build a fourth bedroom over the garage. But we drove past yesterday and saw that the next door neighbours garage is attached to the house we are going to see. Also, the neighbours have almost finished a 4th bedroom extension above thier garage with a window overlooking the house we are going to see. So if we were to buy the house and extend above our garage ( like they have) the two houses would effectively meet in the middle and block thier brand new window!
    So my question is, Does thier new extension with window effectively stop anyone who buys this house building a 4th bedroom of thier own?
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 13th Apr 18, 11:08 AM
    • 24,902 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:08 AM
    • #2
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:08 AM
    Their window should be obscured glass because it is side facing. Are you also saying that the window is directly on the boundary line?

    Side windows shouldn't stop anyone from building next door.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Maggie841
    • By Maggie841 13th Apr 18, 11:14 AM
    • 6 Posts
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    Maggie841
    • #3
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:14 AM
    • #3
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:14 AM
    Thanks, I only drove past so won't see properly until we view it. But from what I could see I think the extension covers thier whole garage and that is attached to the garage of the house we are going to see; so yes it reaches the boundary. So if we bought this house and also extended to our boundry the walls would meet. Would that make it a terrace?!
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 13th Apr 18, 11:37 AM
    • 779 Posts
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    ProDave
    • #4
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:37 AM
    • #4
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:37 AM
    Be carefull.

    At the moment is is link detached, or a semi detached(you don't say which). You build an extension that joins your habitable space to next doors habitable space, and it goes from semi to terrace, or detached to semi, and goes down in value.
    • Maggie841
    • By Maggie841 13th Apr 18, 11:52 AM
    • 6 Posts
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    Maggie841
    • #5
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:52 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:52 AM
    It's semi detached on one side and I suppose link attached on the other side as the garages are joined.
    • giraffe69
    • By giraffe69 13th Apr 18, 11:58 AM
    • 2,319 Posts
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    giraffe69
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:58 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Apr 18, 11:58 AM
    You might visit first, ask if the current owners have ever sought to do an extension (perhaps if they had anything to say about the one being built next door) and if you are still interested after a look and some answers ask the local planning officer about the possibilities.
    • mistertea
    • By mistertea 13th Apr 18, 12:04 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    mistertea
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 18, 12:04 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Apr 18, 12:04 PM
    Look on the local authority's online planning portal to see details of next door's extension. The plans should show the distance of the window from the boundary and any conditions such as obscured glass. You could also see any record of previous applications on the house you are viewing.
    • Robby1988
    • By Robby1988 13th Apr 18, 12:29 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Robby1988
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 18, 12:29 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Apr 18, 12:29 PM
    It was poor planning on the neighbours behalf to put a side window in, I would have thought you are well within your rights to extend above your garage too.

    Problem is... 1) Your going to upset the neighbours straight away & neighbour conflict is stressful. 2) As others have said, you are likely to knock value off both houses by joining the habitable space of the two houses.

    I!!!8217;d say the extension is a bit of a non starter, the neighbours got in their first.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 13th Apr 18, 12:41 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 18, 12:41 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Apr 18, 12:41 PM
    I would look at the planning portal for the application, as suggested.

    Planning authorites are often quite resistant to forst floor extensions that create the terracing effect. I'm also surprised that they would allow a window on the boundary as it does cause issue for next door.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • ToasterScheme
    • By ToasterScheme 13th Apr 18, 12:43 PM
    • 73 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    ToasterScheme
    It sounds like you would finish up having to join the roofs together as well. Very messy.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 13th Apr 18, 12:46 PM
    • 2,524 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    Is the side window the only one - or is it in addition to the (more usual) one at the front?
    • AlexMac
    • By AlexMac 13th Apr 18, 6:37 PM
    • 2,031 Posts
    • 1,784 Thanks
    AlexMac
    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!?
    • Mossfarr
    • By Mossfarr 13th Apr 18, 6:38 PM
    • 474 Posts
    • 656 Thanks
    Mossfarr
    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.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 13th Apr 18, 6:46 PM
    • 2,908 Posts
    • 5,906 Thanks
    Smodlet
    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.
    Originally posted by Mossfarr
    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?
    Every stew starts with the first onion.
    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • the_r_sole
    • By the_r_sole 13th Apr 18, 7:23 PM
    • 2,429 Posts
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    the_r_sole
    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...
    • Maggie841
    • By Maggie841 13th Apr 18, 7:33 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Maggie841
    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.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 13th Apr 18, 8:15 PM
    • 24,902 Posts
    • 68,279 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    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?
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    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.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 13th Apr 18, 9:39 PM
    • 5,279 Posts
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    deannatrois
    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.
    • Maggie841
    • By Maggie841 13th Apr 18, 11:19 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Maggie841
    Yes it seems this is the case.
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