Party wall agreements, etc?(9 Posts)
We are aiming to do a single storey extension across the back of out house. We are semi-detached & I am sure the neighbours will object because their kitchen window is near the boundary. They also have French doors to their garden at the dining side of the room so would still get a lot of natural light in their kitchen/diner. How do party wall agreements work & would loss of natural light hold strong powers if/when the neighbours object against our plans? Thank you. As you may guess I am new to this!!
Just to clarify we want to do the extension right up to the boundary with our semi-detached neighbours.
You may be confusing 2 things. You need to get planning permission first (unless it's permitted development which is likely if you're only going single storey - still need building regulations approval but not planning permission).
As I understand it you only need a party wall agreement if you are going lower than your neighbours foundations (have a google). They can refuse to sign the agreement and appoint a surveyor at your cost to ensure their property isn't negatively affected by your works but that doesn't mean they can object to your plans (in the same way they can under the planning permission procedure).
In theory, a PWA shouldn't give your neighbours any ammunition - it is simply a way of acknowledging that works are to take place, the scope of the work and having a surveyor check these and the current state of the neighbours' properties so that there is a record in case any damage occurs. However, if they engage a surveyor who is bullish enough, they can make it difficult for you (if they just ignore the paperwork, then you can go ahead as your surveyor then starts acting on their behalf so there is an advantage to hoping they stick their heads in the sand).
It's always worth talking to your neighbours first rather than send them something out of the blue. It may be the case that they are also thinking of extending and so won't be effected by the new wall. If you are extending under permitted development, there isn't very much they can do other than be awkward. If you are extending and need planning consent then this is the stage at which they can make their objections felt and try to stop you going ahead.
Thank you for that information, very helpful. We will need planning permission as the house already has a double storey side extension. I know the neighbours did not have plans to extend (unless tjey've had a rethink) but will definitely speak to them in person to try to keep things upfront etc. if they object to us extending up to the boundary is it solely up to the planning case officer to decide? The gardens are south west facing so it comes up over the left side of our house & from midday we have sunshine all afternoon as it travels to the back right corner of the garden. As the neighbours are semidetached to our right (as you look at the house) I suspect they will not be happy that they may lose some light for an hour or so. Thanks again.
Yes its up to the planners. They will consider any objections, policy etc do a site visit then either reject or approve the application.
We have just had similar with our planning application. Both sides objected on grounds of loss of light and outlook (single storey boundary to boundary). Our architect obviously worked within the councils planning guidelines & it was passed despite their objections.
Both refused to sign party wall agreement and appointed surveyors. My advice is factor in the cost of appointing surveyors from the beginning. Ours will cost around £1500 (if we go ahead, we have put our plans on hold for 2 years after all that!). We were upfront with both sides about the plans prior to them going to planning & neither suggested they would object to our face.
Thank you this is most helpful. I've discovered that 'right to light' should not affect our planning permission but the neighbours could sue us afterwards. Anyone know if this is true?
Op I've never heard of that. Where have you heard it?
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