Planning and Neighbour Disputes

By Levis on

A Government report published at the end of June 2015 shows that last year, over 260,000 people obtained planning permission on their homes.  While this is good news for those of us wishing to add value and potentially extra space to our homes, even if planning permission is granted, developing your home can cause further issues, not least with your neighbours.

You may have seen in the press earlier this year that the owner of a large mid-terrace house in an exclusive area of London had been embroiled in a major planning dispute in relation to the house, which faced major opposition from her neighbours.  When she eventually won on appeal, she painted the outside of the house in large red and white stripes, in what appeared to be an act of protest against the resistance from her neighbours.  Of course this caused further aggravation with her neighbours.  She has since been ordered by the local authority to repaint the house.

For this lady, this house was a development opportunity and it is understood that she will not live at the property once it is redeveloped.  For most of us, however, if the decisions we take in redeveloping our homes damage our relations with our neighbours, it can affect our enjoyment of the development once it is finished.

For example, while it may seem unusual, local authorities will not usually get involved in boundary disputes.  If you request planning permission to build an extension, the fact that it might go over the boundary into your neighbour’s garden will not concern the planning department and permission may well be granted.  However, being granted such planning permission does not give you authorisation to build on your neighbour’s land and it is unlikely that your neighbour will be very happy about it.  Such action may be construed as trespass, and your neighbour could obtain a court order for damages, or even for your extension to be demolished.

There is a balance to be had between increasing the size and value of your home, and being able to enjoy it afterwards.  Please contact our specialist property litigation solicitors if you have any queries relating to planning issues or neighbour disputes or click here to make an enquiry.