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Neighbours WILL object to our planning application... what now?

(14 Posts)
HCeca Mon 17-Nov-14 14:20:53

We are new to the area and bought the terraced house 2 months ago.
Worked through the research and on planning with the architect and the sum up is our plan that contains: Loft conversion, 4.5m extension and internal alterations - house is not in the habitable state at the moment - so every day counts (we are renting!) Note: the previous owner obtained pre-application approval for 3.5m already.

We obtained the approval in 3 weeks for the loft but the extension is still with the council - for 5 weeks/out of 8 weeks when they are due to respond.

We requested an extension of 4.5m as some of the houses in the street have done so. However, looking further into all the published articles and rules around planning permission, permitted development and even YouTube clips on "how to object to your neighbours planning permission application" - I'm not sleeping any longer.

We followed all the written and unwritten rules. Introduced ourselves to the neighbours, approached to both sides with our plans and our intentions, and invited them to see the property from the inside as it's been in a very poor condition to understand the need of us moving fast forward.

The response we got is:
Neighbour 1: I want to build extension myself but as my other neighbour on the other side will most likely object to 4.5m I will apply for 3.5m and object you to build any further than me. I don't want to see 1m wall and I don't like the change.

Neighbour 2: I rent and I don't live there. I don't have the extension nor I have any intention building one and I will object you to build one as well.

It is important to mention that these are:
North facing houses so if there is a SUN (only in summer) only the far back part of all the garden sin the street get a �sun ray or two�. Over winter there is NO SUN.

So.. is there anything I can do or house owners in UK are solely on the mercy of their neighbours. What is the relevant neighbour complains/objections that are considered by the council � as �I don�t like change� don�t sounds valid to me or I�m totally wrong here.

One additional thing: my dear neighbours played a team game to stretch the PWA to be completed anytime soon � pushing fool 2 months of us waiting to start building works (at least loft and internal work). I�m not sure I want to live here any longer, but I don�t have a choice now, I have to finish it and hope to sell it asap.

Thanks for any comment or thought shared

MaryShelley Mon 17-Nov-14 14:32:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lovetheleaves Mon 17-Nov-14 14:40:47

Would agree that their objections might not be valid enough reasons. You may just wait and see what the planners say. Are you happy enough to go with 3.5m if they no to 4.5.

Pooka Mon 17-Nov-14 14:50:24

A 4.5m rear extension to a terraced house is tricky.

3.5m is more commonly acceptable.

The council will take into account what is on the other side of your neighbour. So if they already have a substantial extension on the other side of them, yours may well result in a tunnelling effect, and a general loss of amenity to the back of their house.

Do you mean the gardens are north facing? In which case, preserving daylighting to rear facing ground floor windows in the neighbouring terrace house is even more important, and a planning consideration. If their rear ground floor window would effectively look out onto the flank wall of deep extensions on either side, it's more likely that permission might be refused, especially if the extension would immediately abut the boundary.

I don't like change is not a material planning consideration. Impact on amenity,including tunnelling effect, loss of daylight and so on are.

Permission can be refused even if there are no objections, because the role of the local planning authority is to preserve amenity of the house and the potential residents, even if existing residents do not object (may be tenants, may be worried about kicking up a fuss and so on).

Not saying that you won't get planning permission. But from local applications to me, 4.5m is pushing it for a single storey extension to a terraced house. Each case is looked at on its merits, of course. So much depends upon things like width of the houses, orientation, precedent and so on.

Pooka Mon 17-Nov-14 14:51:06

If permission is refused you can generally apply again for reduced scheme without paying the application fee.

MaliceInWonderland78 Mon 17-Nov-14 14:53:22

Their objections will make no difference whatsoever.

This is quite a complex area however, your best bet is to have a conversation with the duty planning officer at your local authority. If the permitted development rights haven't been removed or curtailed (due to the loft extension for example) then you stand a very good chance of getting what you want.

You could always apply for the consent (under PD) and hope that the council don't determine the application within 42 days - at which pooint you can proceed anyway. Some careful timing would be required - as you'd want to catch them during a paticularly busy period.

Pooka Mon 17-Nov-14 15:52:13

But from op it seems that an application for planning permission has already been made?

Given that a reasonable amount of the grunt work has already been done by the council, including sending letters to neighbouring owners/occupiers/allocating case officer etc, even if the op decided to chance her arm with the prior approval process, the council would be pretty quick to respond in my opinion.

Their objections would make a difference with a pd prior approval, insofar as it would prompt an assessment by the officer about amenity issues, which will be done in any case with a planning application - and the op is 5 weeks into the 8 week process with that.

HCeca Mon 17-Nov-14 17:06:58

@ MaliceInWonderland78: Yes I've already submitted the planning application - this is a 5th week from the day of submission - so 3 more to go to get the decision. Based on the recent email i received from my dear neighbour it seems that nobody yet contacted them to-date. She raised this as a concern with me demanding to confirm to her if we have made the application and requesting a ref. no.
Am I obliged to provide her with this information?
Also, are you suggesting that if I don't get the response from council in 8 week period my application is regarded as granted?
Could you help me explore your comment a bit more?

@ Pooka: I'm not so fussed about �80.00 considering the huge investment made in getting the property and turning it into a home.

@ Lovetheleaves: If I have to go with 3.5m, i will have to go, I will not have any other choice. But the whole layout will have to be re-designed and added value (approx. �50.000) will be lost.

Pooka Mon 17-Nov-14 17:14:03

If no decision on a submitted planning application within 8 weeks you have the right to appeal to the planning inspectorate and they will then either allow or dismiss your appeal (either grant or refuse permission). If appealing on non determination you have the right to make a costs application on procedural grounds and the council will have to come up with good reasons for delay.

Not all councils write to neighbours with planning applications. Some just display a site notice. The application reference would be on the public register and is not confidential info. It isn't needed to make an objection - the address would suffice.

Gozogozo Mon 17-Nov-14 17:25:33

Sorry for a slight derail...
If I made a permitted development application and it is supposed to be determined in 8 weeks, but hasn't (13 weeks now) where do I stand?

My suspicion is that they are going to pick on something which has little/nothing to do with P. D application.
(the colour of the loft whereas P D to do with ground floor 3m extension.

MaliceInWonderland78 Mon 17-Nov-14 17:32:21

If you apply for an extension under permitted development rights (under the new more generous rules) your neighbours will be consulted. If the council fail to refuse/determine THAT applicationwithin 42 days, you can proceed.

You are not required to provide any information to you neighbour - and nor should you - just in case you get it wrong. That's the council's job. It's not about being difficult, it's just about following the process - and not opening yourself up to claims later on that you've acted inappropriately.

HCeca Mon 17-Nov-14 17:56:36

@Pooka: If no decision on a submitted planning application within 8 weeks you have the right to appeal to the planning inspectorate and they will then either allow or dismiss your appeal (either grant or refuse permission).

HCeca: Would you know how long usually planning inspectorate takes to response with grant or refusal)?

If appealing on non-determination you have the right to make a costs application on procedural grounds and the council will have to come up with

HCeca:I'm not sure I understand this. I'm from IT world grin

Pooka Mon 17-Nov-14 18:04:25

Truthfully, it takes some time. It's a way of circumventing the planning department if you think you might get a refusal at the end of waiting for them to have done their stuff (particularly relevant if the decision has to be made by planning committee of councillors rather than officers).

Re: costs.

By going over 8 weeks (if they do) the planning department has acted unreasonably and you could argue that their delay necessitated your appeal on grounds of non-determination in an application for costs - for them to have to pay any additional costs you incurred as a consequence of having to appeal. They'd have to try and come up with a good excuse.

Probably clear as mud!

kusmile Mon 17-Nov-14 19:32:24

If it makes you feel any better, you'd probably get complaints no matter what you proposed. Some family members of mine got an extension, fully approved, little more than polite curiosity from neighbours (it's quite a tight knit, long established community)... yet meanwhile the council was being bombarded with calls from neighbours asking about the planning permission and trying to get it revoked. and then when the think was finished, it ended up being a few inches higher that the plans and someone launched a covert campaign to get the thing torn down.

Council didn't care, extension remains. People always complain, and if your neighbours put in an objection for 4.5m, they'll also do so for 3.5m.

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