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What would you think or do?

(31 Posts)
Coolandclamy Mon 22-Feb-21 07:52:27

My NDN has been talking about extending out by 6m for over a year now and told me I should get a letter from the council. The couple we bought the house from a year ago told us at the time that the NDN wanted to do this extension.

They clearly are still wanting to extend and came round 3 weeks ago to discuss with us. No drawings but just general what they are trying to do. There is something about them that makes me not trust them. I can’t quite put my finger on it.

I would object because because it would be greatly overbearing and block my light. They know that.

I just can’t figure out what they are up to and why I have not received anything from the council. Is there anyway they could get the 6m extension planning through without us being consulted?

We are on speaking terms and we are not in dispute although I don’t know for how long because I can see they are the sort that if they don’t get their way then you become the enemy.

OP’s posts: |
Beringer Mon 22-Feb-21 08:58:52

We didn't receive any letters from our council when our NDN applied for planning permission. They applied twice as the first one was refused. The council put up a notice on the closest lamppost to the property. You can check the planning portal for your council online. If you type in the address it will let you know if your NDN has applied and the status of their application.

Coolandclamy Mon 22-Feb-21 09:08:42

I thought they had to consult? Oh dear. I’ll need to keep an eye out then.

They already have a 3m extension and want to increase even more. The house is already very big.

OP’s posts: |
Nowthereistwo Mon 22-Feb-21 11:12:37

We went to full planning and the council sent a letter to both neighbours - but no notices were put on the street

YoComoManzanas Mon 22-Feb-21 11:17:59

The planning department will send you a letter when an application is submitted.
Why did you buy the house if you knew the neighbours wanted to extend?
You sound very paranoid and obstructive. Glad you are not my neighbour!

HumourReplacementTherapy Mon 22-Feb-21 11:20:04

Just put their address into the planning portal to see if they've submitted anything yet. You'd be notified by the council as part of the process.

HollowTalk Mon 22-Feb-21 11:22:07

You sound very paranoid and obstructive.

Eh? This will have a massive impact on the OP's life. Can't you see that?

Coolandclamy Mon 22-Feb-21 13:12:58

@HollowTalk thanks. I was confused at the response YoComoManzanas. I won’t even begin to explain the problems with YoComoManzanas’ logic.

OP’s posts: |
RainingBatsAndFrogs Mon 22-Feb-21 13:54:03

I would keep checking the council planning portal and searching their address.

They might be trying to get away with it within permitted development - I am not sure they have to consult with you over that?

Mamette Mon 22-Feb-21 14:01:12

Sounds like they have been upfront about their plans both with you and the previous owner.

You went ahead and bought the house knowing this work was in the pipeline.

they are the sort that if they don’t get their own way you become the enemy

What’s the basis for this remark? Are you talking about them or yourself?

It’s not up to you to decide whether their house is big enough, that’s the job of the planning office.

Just object when the notice goes up.

Coolandclamy Mon 22-Feb-21 17:12:51

Hello Marmet, I am sure you are blessed with instinct as I am and can get a sense of when something isn’t quite right. Some of the pieces of the story do not fit and the upfront approach was very much a vibes of wanting compromise on my side.

I was at the stage of near signing contracts when we heard about it. We’re talking about over a year ago. There was nothing on the council website and the people we bought it from had not heard from the council.

So should I run away from a property I like in fear of what a neighbour might do? Are people’s lives to be dictated by neighbours running roughshod with planning that might not be lawful if objected to? Isn’t the planning rules in place to ensure fairness in this whole extension business?

OP’s posts: |
hgaj Mon 22-Feb-21 17:51:08

Your neighbour hasn't yet done anything wrong. The delay in finalising plans may be caused by Covid or any number of other reasons. They can't just run roughshod with planning, they will need to follow the law or enforcement action can be taken (there's a house near me who's extension has just been pulled down).

At 6m I don't think they can do this without giving you an opportunity to object. They do however have certain rights to develop their land. If you do want to object read up and make sure you address relevant planning considerations.

Didyousaysomethingdarling Mon 22-Feb-21 18:01:23

I don't think they'll need planning permission. We built out 6m under permitted development in 2016 (mid terrace). Thankfully one neighbour didn't object, the other built out at the same time.,if%20your%20house%20is%20detached).

Under the relaxed rules, you can extend up to eight metres for detached houses and six metres for all other houses. Please note that for these larger extensions (beyond four and three metres respectively) you will need to give notification under the Neighbour Consultation Scheme. If you get any objections, you may not be able to build a larger extension.

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 22-Feb-21 18:06:05

I’m not really seeing any reason why you’d speculate on what they’re “up to” and think of them as not to be trusted. You knew when you bought the property that they wanted to extend. They’ve been upfront with you ever since that they would like to extend. They’ve tried to discuss their plans with you, presumably hoping you could both reach an agreement about what sort of extension you wouldn't object to. Following confirmation from you that you’d apparently object to anything, they’ve likely sought planning and architect advice on a design and proposal most likely to be granted planning permission regardless of your objection. LA planning departments are notoriously slow and all of this takes time - if they only came to talk to you three weeks ago it’s unlikely they’ve even submitted their application yet. It’s also possible that since last speaking to you they’ve revised their plans: a 6m single story extension generally falls within permitted development and wouldn’t require either permission or offering you a chance to object, and why you won’t have received any notification.

Krazynights34 Mon 22-Feb-21 18:10:52

OP - are you semi-detached?
Permitted planning would allow them to extend 3m squared. But there are other factors such as garden size left after proposed extension (I think).

It’s not up to your neighbours to inform the neighbours of plans. When they apply for planning permission the council publicise it.

You don’t have a right to light on ground level.

If you are semi-detached the NDNs will have to serve you notice under the party wall agreement a month at least before commencing work.

I say the above as I am in a semi-detached bungalow and need to extend for my disabled daughter (wheelchair access etc). Our NDN made comments to the council but permission has been granted to build. But we still have to comply with the party wall requirements because of foundations etc.

Oh no and your NDNs can see comments and objections when they access the council portal, which is how I know about our neighbours comments.

They might just be speaking to you as a matter of courtesy. I did with my neighbours, though the council had written to everyone before we moved in as we’d applied for planning permission before we moved in.

There are numerous stages they have to go through (building control etc).

Have they explained what their plans are in any detail?

I’m sorry you feel as you do and I hope you are mistaken re their general manner and all goes well

Asgoodasarest Mon 22-Feb-21 18:33:30

If you do get the chance to object and want to, then I recommend (as a pp mentioned) getting fully acquainted with what constitutes a justifiable objection on the council website. Our council has very clear criteria and expect you to complain within this. We had someone try and build a whole house in our street, which we all felt was a bad idea for numerous reasons. I was surprised at some of the things that weren’t valid reasons.
Try and approach it positively if you can. You have to live next door to each other and it’s always easier and preferable to get along. Good luck with it.

Bandino Mon 22-Feb-21 18:41:19

We have a local council online planning portal where you can just put in the postcode and find the plans and status. Our ndn needed permission and it was initially rejected by the council due to being overbearing. I can't remember if we had a letter, I think so. But you dont need one to log your objection. They had to put an orange sign up. I found Planning Aid really helpful years ago for advising on what you can object to. As I remember it light isn't one of them. Things like overbearing bulk, pinning in, setting a precedent in think.

SheWouldNever Mon 22-Feb-21 20:05:22

For a single storey extension, they are allowed to go out 6m under permitted development. That means they don’t necessarily have to apply for planning permission, just building control, and it’s unlikely that your objection to the work would make a difference. In short, they are allowed to do this and don’t need to ask your permission. Look into party wall agreements, you’ll want to get a surveyor to make sure you are covered in the event of any damage to your side of the party wall during the build.

Coolandclamy Mon 22-Feb-21 23:20:31

The law changed in 2019 and neighbours must be consulted for extensions 6m semi-detached or terraced and 8m detached. I will look at planning aid. Thanks @bandino

OP’s posts: |
NoToast Tue 23-Feb-21 07:29:47

Councils vary in approach to letting people know, mine doesn't write to neighbours but some do. A poster up thread said you don't have a right to light on the ground floor this is untrue. Google 'Right to Light' consulting they have useful factsheets. Right to Light is a separate civil law outside of the planning system. Planners will consider daylight and sunlight and use different tests. It's possible for a development to be acceptable in terms of daylight and sunlight tests (which only consider habitable rooms) but fail Right to Light (non habitable areas such as halls have Right to Light.

RainingBatsAndFrogs Tue 23-Feb-21 08:28:52

Would their extension be to an existing extension? Presumably the size allowed is total, including existing extension?

Bluntness100 Tue 23-Feb-21 08:33:10

I’m not sure what vibe you’re getting but this kind of delay is normal due to Covid, friends of mine have been planning an extension for just a bit longer than this, but habe delayed due to Covid.

sst1234 Tue 23-Feb-21 08:51:08

OP, what exactly is your objection. You can’t just object on the basis of you not trusting them and having a sixth sense. Also your comment about their house being big already is not relevant. It is not for you to decide how big a house someone should find adequate. Since you haven’t mentioned any specific issues with their plans, you sound like a nimby.

PresentingPercy Tue 23-Feb-21 08:52:37

I think some posters have not taken into account that the house has already been extended. Presumably this is after 1948 and therefore counts towards permitted development. If the PD has already been used up, they cannot have it again. PD is intended for first extensions.

I attach the relevant narrative. You should expect this extension to be the subject of a planning application. You should look on the planning department portal to see what planning permission was granted previously and make that clear to the council of your neighbours want permitted development. It’s unlikely they are entities to it or houses would grow incrementally wouldn’t they?!

You should be notified by the council about pp applications. Some are sung Covid as an excuse not to put up notices! (Cornwall have for example). Neighbours must, legally, be informed somehow! Again councils play fast and loose about the definition of a neighbour. In ours, adjoining land didn’t count. So keep an eye on the planning portal. If someone in planning will speak to you, ask about what I have listed above about permitted development. Just to be sure.

MyCatHatesOtherCats Tue 23-Feb-21 10:50:21

OP, we applied for an extension (4m out on a semi) under PD (the larger homes extension bit of it). All the adjoining properties received letters from our council. Worth checking the planning portal.

If your neighbours are anything like me, they will have mentioned the plans to you in order to get a sense of whether you’re likely to object and to give you the chance to raise any concerns with them. Neither of our adjoining neighbours to the side did. Neither did formally when we applied.

Once your neighbours have permission, they are bound to construct what they have applied for, ie if they get permission to add on three metres and then add on six, there are channels you can use to stop them continuing the build and effectively they could be forced to demolish it. So what is on the plans, as and when they apply, should be what they actually build.

Our plans were approved within the anticipated 8 week timescale, despite Covid and lockdown. But every council is different. In our case, we’re mirroring the next door neighbours’ single storey extension so there is a precedent and the finished extension will have no impact on them.

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