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Neighbour complaint about planning proposal

(9 Posts)
gingerninja Wed 20-May-15 14:01:59

It's years since I've turned to mumsnet for support, but here I am again asking for some advice.

We recently applied for a side return and rear extension (rear projecting only 2m, side return just to the edge of the house, 75cm from the boundary and 175cm from the neighbour property.

The neighbour is objecting as they believe it will reduce light into their kitchen window.

They have already done the exact same extension and opted for velux and side windows, we're proposing just velux to avoid the over looking.

At the boundary we already have a 6 foot high fence and evergreen bamboo which grows at least a foot over that. We are proposing cutting that down to improve the light and offering to use a light render to reflect any available light.

Their window is East facing so light is actually blocked by our house, the extension will make little, if any, difference.

The previous owners of our house converted the loft and the neighbours are claiming that this already reduces the light despite being converted 2 years before they did their wrap extension which effectively moved windows and doors from a favourable aspect to a dark corner.

Can their objection block our plan? what if anything can we do to mitigate against this?

Many thanks

Millymollymama Wed 20-May-15 14:23:38

The planning authority will possibly have a policy for what type of development they will permit in your area. By the sounds of it, this is just a ground floor extension. Is it the same as other people have in the street? Obviously it is pretty similar to your neighbours. Is the proposed roof height higher thsn anyone else's extension? I would say this is all you have to worry about. Most neighbours have no idea what the planning regulations are and I cannot really see how you are taking their light. Policies could refer to over-development of a garden, out of step in size with similar buildinging in the street etc. If yours is not out of step, then you should be OK.

Some planning authorities offer advice, for a fee, on what you can reasonably do in your location. I assume your architect had some idea of what is permitted in the neighbourhood and advised accordingly. I live in an area of outsanding natural beauty and green belt so we are VERY restricted - 50% extra based on the 1948 footprint but I assume this does not apply to you. If there are already similar extensions nearby then I cannot see how yours is very different. We have found that plenty of people object, because they can, but have no idea of the planning policies. "Taking light" is a well used objection but largely ignored by planning authorities because it is rearely the case that a lowish extension actually does this. Plenty of two storey extensions are allowed too, so "taking light" has to be really serious. What the previous owners did in the loft is neither here nor there with this application. If the neighbour's objection is not valid and does not follow the planning policies of the planning authority then their objection will be ignored. Very many are!

gingerninja Wed 20-May-15 14:55:55

Thank you, that offers some reassurance though I'm concerned that this right to light issue is subjective and therefore it's quite difficult to work out if you're playing within the rules. The street is an urban city street made up of a mish mash of Victorian and Edwardian houses, almost all of which have been extended in some way. The neighbours that are complaining have done the closest to what we want to do however theirs is bigger and part two storey. Ours is purely single storey. I'm slightly worried that because of some bad design decisions by them (they boxed their kitchen into the middle of the house) then they have a case. It's frustrating as if they ever sold then I suspect new owners would change the configuration because it's a odd warren of rooms. The roof line is well within the guidelines of permitted development, in fact, the part they're complaining about would probably pass PD rules on its own but because we want to wrap a rear extension around we're having to go through the planning process.

honeyandfizz Thu 21-May-15 12:02:45

I think with regard to the right to light objection the council would look at the 45 degree angle and use that as a calculation. If you google it you will find lots of information about how the rule is applied.

BullshitS70 Thu 21-May-15 12:36:59

we have got planning after our 1st proposal was turned down by the council because it would block light to our neighbours window and they applied the 45 degree angle rule. So we altered our plans and the corner is cut off now, in fact both corners at the back of the house will be cut off when its built.

Not ideal but its the only way we could get planning permission

Meandyouandyouandme Thu 21-May-15 12:52:01

We are in the middle of a mainly ground floor extension that was passed by planning because it is within permitted development. The neighbours aren't too happy, it's only ground floor on their side, alongside their kitchen, but I don't think they officially complained. However, their neighbour's son did, and wrote letters to all of the houses in the immediate vicinity telling them to write to the council to objectshock and also told people to write to us as he thought that our extension shouldn't be allowed. This person has taken a complete dislike to us, he doesn't actually live in the area, just his mother does. It's been a total nightmare, I don't think the council have ever had so many objections, however, there was no official reason for them to turn it down. The planners were really helpful actually, and visited the house on a couple of occasions, so they should be able to advise you further hopefully.

honeyandfizz Thu 21-May-15 12:57:57

Meandyou If its being built under permitted development then they don't get an option to object unless you wanted to build a larger extension and went through the neighbour consultation? We are hoping to build a single story extension next year close to the boundary, if we keep it within 3m we won't have to consult next door, we will still notify them etc and listen to their views on it. Hopefully they will be reasonable but they will lose a bit of light in their conservatory so we shall see!

Meandyouandyouandme Thu 21-May-15 13:15:12

Yes, we did want to do a slightly bigger 1st floor extension, but that wasn't allowed as would have taken light away from the other neighbour, but the ground floor could be as big as we wanted, under the permitted allowance off the back and side of the house. We are detached, if that makes any difference. So I think the council sent letters out to all our immediate neighbour's asking them to check the plans online. Then the objections, and harassment began!

gingerninja Thu 21-May-15 20:37:21

Thank you for the advice. We are not doing it under PD as we want to do a wrap extension which falls into larger extension. The bit the neighbour is complaining about would be ok under PD if we were doing just that. As we both have traditional Victorian houses and they've filled in the side return (which is what we want to do) our new wall will be within approx 2m of their kitchen window, it's current 4m. Personally I doubt the impact due to afore mentioned issues but how can you prove that, do they need evidence this will be the case to refuse or do we need to produce evidence is disprove? It's a minefield!

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