… or rather the question should be, will any action be taken by the council if a neighbour objects to your permitted development extension?
A neighbour’s objection to your extension can, of course, be taken on board and investigated by your local council. However, if the extension falls within the permitted development guidelines, no action can be taken to make you:
- apply for planning permission, or
- change or remove the extension.
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Certificate of Lawful Development
The most important thing then, is to be completely sure that your extension meets permitted development guidelines and that your permitted development rights have not been removed (see below). It is usually a good idea to obtain a certificate of lawful development for this reason (ideally prior to construction). Not only will this provide peace of mind, it will also provide proof for a future buyer of your home that the work is lawful.
Neighbour consultation scheme
Also known as the Larger Home Extension Scheme, this form of prior approval applies to larger single storey rear extensions to houses built under permitted development rights.
Under typical permitted development the extension limits are three metres (four for a detached property). This is extended to six (and eight metres respectively) under the neighbour consultation scheme BUT requires you to give notice to the council, giving your neighbours opportunity to raise their concerns and objections which can sometimes result in refusal. In this case, your plans would need to revert back to the smaller constraints under permitted development.
Here are some common reasons for neighbour objections. However, they will not all hold the same weight (if any) with the local planning authority.
- Loss of privacy
- Obstruction of views
- Environmental damage
- Visual impact/ design issues
- Loss of natural light
- Accessibility issues
- Potential damage to other property
Do you have permitted development rights?
Unfortunately, it’s not a given that you will have any rights to permitted development, so you should always check this with your architect or your local planning department. Here are some common reasons why you might not have permitted development rights, or why they might be restricted.
- You don’t own the whole house.
- You’re not the sole freeholder.
- You live in a conservation area or other protected area.
- There have been previous extensions to the house (built after July 1948).
Here are some other articles that you might find helpful relating to your specific project:
How big can I build an extension without planning permission?
Do you need planning permission for a side return extension?
Do I need planning permission for a basement extension?
Do I need planning permission for a garden room?
Finding the right architect for your extension
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