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What to do if you Think a Neighbour is Contravening Planning Regulations

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 26 May 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Contravening Planning Penalties Planning

With all due respect to our neighbours, we all need to be aware of any planning permission they might want to submit if they’re intending on making any major structural additions to their property, or if they are planning on using their property for a purpose other than what it was originally intended for.

It doesn’t matter how well you get on with your neighbours, planning consent is something which, if obtained, can have a fundamental effect on your enjoyment of your own property. This might include things like the reduction of direct sunlight you receive as a result of new buildings, and there are also issues about your right to privacy.

Alternatively, they may be looking to convert their property in some way for business or commercial use which could have a direct effect on your home life. Assuming that planning permission has been granted, however, then you do have the right to object if you think that your neighbour has failed to comply with the terms of the planning permission agreement.

When Is Planning Permission Needed?

Planning permission is usually needed for the following, although this list is not exhaustive:

  • Building or adding an extension(s) to a property which will affect the external appearance of the building.
  • When you want to divide off part of a property to be used as a separate home, or you want to put a caravan on your land to be used as a home for somebody else.
  • When you want to use your home (or part of it) for business or commercial use.

How Will I Know if my Neighbour has Contravened Planning Regulations?

Firstly, any planning application which is submitted requires the planning department of your local authority to write to all the neighbouring residences which might be affected by the plans. You have the right to inspect those plans and to get copies for yourself. You can also appeal against a planning application, although that does not necessarily mean that your objections will be upheld.

However, assuming that planning permission has been granted, it’s important that you remain alert as to how any proposed development or use of the permission which has been granted is complied with. If you suspect that your neighbour may have failed to comply with everything contained within what was agreed, you should notify your local authority’s planning department at the earliest opportunity.

Obviously, some contravention of what was agreed might be more visibly obvious than other aspects, although the planning department themselves will also have a vested interest in ensuring that compliance is met with completely.

Failure to Comply with the Planning Permission

The council can enforce proceedings against people who have contravened the planning permission which they have been granted in the form of a Planning Contravention Notice. Severe financial penalties can also be imposed and your neighbour can be told to restore the property to its previous state at their own cost, even if that means demolishing a completely new building or structure if it does not comply with what was agreed to in the drawings of the plans.

It’s also important to remember that, in addition to the planning permission, any structural changes will also have to meet the Building Regulations which, although often interlinked with planning permission, are entirely separate regulations which must also be adhered to.

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my neighbour was permitted to reroof a bike shed between our houses, one side of shed is against my house. it 'was' set back 3ft from the red brick gable 'qoin bricks'. I permitted him to re-roof and to install 'flashing (GRP) as previously there was none and his water was damping my reception room. on day 1, he cut the trench and came to agreed point, but next day he can 30cms further forward and cut into my brickwork without consent. I live in a conservation area but Council dont seem to be over-concerned, he did not seek any agreement albeit 'only a bikeshed' my house now looks like a terraced house. What can I do?
TimShan - 26-May-20 @ 12:13 PM
There has been a patch of waste land attached to my rear garden empty for years. It was sold by auction. There is now a two storey block of flats being built 8 units in total. The Construction of these flats is 1.5 metres from my boundary fence. At at present over 50 ft high without roof as yet Neither I or any of my neighbours have seen any plans or received anything to tell us about this construction. I have contacted the Council, who I assum gave theplanning permission, to raise a complaint. What happens if I am right and this Constructionis being built too close to my boundary fence.
SAFE HARBOUR - 22-May-20 @ 4:50 PM
My neighbours built an extension to back of a semi detached house and have put a core vent through a firewall and the fumes are leaking into our garden where we sit outside. I believe the wall is a firewall and don’t understand why they did not vent the extraction fan through the roof rather than coring it through the wall. Can anyone please advise? Regards, Kevin Bell
Kibbo - 16-May-20 @ 12:33 PM
The tenant at the back of the property has taken most of my garden and has built a shed over 2.5m height by 4m longHe said he bought if of the previous tenant yet Knowsley council have said they haven’t sold the land to him.
Gemma - 15-May-20 @ 3:53 PM
My neighbour got planning permission for a beautiful garage on their garden 5 years ago which they built but never finished (no garage doors) so has never been used as a garage. They have now spent all lockdown getting ready to convert this 'garage' into a house & plan to extend it & they have separated their garden into 2 halves, added drainage etc in anticipation of getting the planningpermission in and passed. Before they had the garage done they told us they knew someone in the planning department who would get the plans passed (it was too close to the boundary & yes it did get passed). We had a good idea the house was planned from the start (far too nice to be a garage) We think if they get permission for this 'garage conversion' it will leave the doors wide open for all our neighbours to build houses in their gardens(including us if we so wished) Would they get planning permission for this 'conversion'
Space - 10-May-20 @ 2:37 PM
My neighbour and I share a common driveway between our houses for a excess to back of our respective gardens. The problem is that he has build a sidestep on the common driveway ( which I don't mind). The problem is that he hasbuilt a steel garage at the bottom of his garden which is half on the common driveway. Now this steel building is as big as you can fit 5 cars in it and has electricity in it. Recentlyhe has put his other storage boxes on the rest of the driveway and further more left his bits in our back garden. When questioned he has told us that he will take the bits from our garden when he starts his work. We have checked with council and there is no planing permission is in place for the structure. What am I supposed to do and what are my rights please?
Carl - 14-Apr-20 @ 12:51 AM
My neighbours kitchen extension is built over the ‘line of junction’, by half a brick. We’d now like to have an extension but this will severely restrict us - can we use the wall as our wall as it’s in our land?
Debbie - 5-Apr-20 @ 11:51 AM
So we have a neighbour who is a builder and built himself a ‘shed’ thing. It’s insulated and not attached to the house, it simply sits at the end and is such an eyesore! He has windows on the sides which faces our garden and after looking at regulations for planning permission it’s obvious he would have needed it, as it’s literally liveable and has a mini kitchen in it. After looking on the local council website at planning applications he evidently does not have one, not one application has ever been made from that address. He also for the past almost 2 years has been working from home a lot, causing a lot of noise to the point where we cannot have the windows open during the day. Surely he would need some sort of permission to be using his home as a construction yard? What can we do?
Tilly - 3-Apr-20 @ 11:21 AM
My neighbor’s extension is 45cm too wide than what’s in the plan submitted to and approved by the council. Has she breached the planning permission?
Heather - 1-Apr-20 @ 9:13 PM
I purchased a property about two year ago it’s a free standing garage and a pretty big area in between residential are I have recently been down there fixing my own cars as a hobby I have been using power tools well in the time limits get there at 9 and finish at 4 I have had 7 noise complaints saying I am breaking motors even tho I am working on my own cars the council have come and said I need planning permission to keep my cars on my property is this true if so what could the land actually be used for if a garage can’t park cars on it what else is it for
Shaq - 4-Mar-20 @ 10:32 PM
My neighbbour has tenants living in his shed in the garden They are putting in new windows and doors
Z - 4-Feb-20 @ 7:20 PM
My neighbour is running a beauticians from their garage, that happens to be part of 2 garages, their side wall and back wall, with window, actually being in our garden. We can hear everything that is going on, as there is no sound proofing or double glazing. What are our rights regarding our privacy and enjoyment of our garden. We shouldn’t have to listen to a business being run at the bottom of our garden!
Oz - 26-Dec-19 @ 5:30 PM
Neighbours newly built dormer gutter has been redirected to run down my roof. Is this legal? In heavy rain the flow is too much and over flows the shared guttering. Anyone know?
SX - 9-Nov-19 @ 11:50 PM
I have a land and put some shipping containers in it.then decided to weld them up together and start a new business but planning permission didn’t approve the building but they were kind of ok to accept the business for me,but I withdraw from both.because they didn’t accept anything for the containers...now I have been asked to remove all the containers from my land.(I have to mention I have welded them into each other now,4,20ft containers!!) any idea how I can appeal against their decision ? Thanks in advance
Bob - 7-Nov-19 @ 2:47 PM
Our terraced neighbour has build a garden room in their 12m x 5m wide back garden with a fully glazed facade of folding doors that directly overlook our kitchen and back garden.The room is to be used for business. They say it is a class E outbuilding and allowed under permitted development.it is overbearing and intrusive Can we get planning enforcement to remove it ? Please advise.
DJ - 24-Oct-19 @ 9:35 PM
My neighbour has an extension that was granted in the early 90s. It consisted of a side wall than ran on the party wall boundary and has high windows all along the wall looking onto our demise. Assuming at the time it was a condition to allow light into our side through their obscured windows. Application is no longer on the website because of its age so probably in archives. In the last month they have internally renovated their house and have done no external works, however they have boarded the windows with insulation board against the windows finishing off with a plasterboard finish internally. We now have a view of 3m of kingspan insulation boards and battens running across the top half of the wall since they did not line the windows first with any film. It's a very undesirable look - like a permanent building site. They will not undo the work and are  ot willing to pay for film on the windows to put on the external side of the windows.  Do I have any rights in this matter. Its apparent that they did not want to go through planning a and building regs to demolish it and build a brick wall and so they did the cheaper option and just boarded the windows internally. Guidance will be greatly appreciated.
Mo - 15-Oct-19 @ 11:53 PM
My neighbour has an extension that was granted in the early 90s. It consisted of a side wall than ran on the party wall boundary and has high windows all along the wall looking onto our demise. Assuming at the time it was a condition to allow light into our side through their obscured windows. Application is no longer on the website because of its age so probably in archives. In the last month they have internally renovated their house and have done no external works, however they have boarded the windows with insulation board against the windows finishing off with a plasterboard finish internally. We now have a view of 3m of kingspan insulation boards and battens running across the top half of the wall since they did not line the windows first with any film. It's a very undesirable look - like a permanent building site. They will not undo the work and are  ot willing to pay for film on the windows to put on the external side of the windows.  Do I have any rights in this matter. Its apparent that they did not want to go through planning a and building regs to demolish it and build a brick wall and so they did the cheaper option and just boarded the windows internally. Guidance will be greatly appreciated.
Mo - 15-Oct-19 @ 11:53 PM
Our new neighbour has applied for planning permission under permitted development rules for a 3 m extension which has been approved. But what is actually happening is that he has knocked down a pitched roof of a small attached outbuilding (we share the same wall - terraced houses) and is planning to put in a flat roof. This has not been part of the planning permission or building regs. What is our next step? Do we contact planning and building regulations to tell them this of this unlawful change of structure??
Sarah - 21-Sep-19 @ 11:00 AM
My neighbour has build a shed on his drive which is not private property. It looks ok but he now parks in the way of incoming vehicles. There is another neighbour who has done the same but his shed is an eye sore and it is taking up an entire parking bay!!
Mrmotivation - 18-Sep-19 @ 2:03 PM
The article don't say what to do which was the title of the article.
Luis - 7-Sep-19 @ 9:21 AM
My neighbour has built a garden and put up paving slabs to create a wall in public right of way land. The paving slabs look hideous . I was always told if you want to do anything with no mans land you had to have permission from the land registry and they would write to all the neighbours. I have received no letter and I would objected
Skully - 21-Aug-19 @ 11:48 AM
There’s an extremely large house being built on Cunningham Drive Moss Nook Manchester M22. I live in Thorn Drive the road behind which is a private road, we all pay to maintain road ourselves. Just lately we’ve had wagons dropping stuff off via our road and lifting it over the fence . This is not except-able Also need the house in spec ting was not supposed to be see in Thorn Drive and it stands out ! Looks like a hotel , it’s huge. How do we get this looked into?
Tia - 23-Jul-19 @ 3:13 PM
Our neighbour has built a large extension running between our garden boundary at the back of the houses. Their existing house is a bungalow and the new roof to the large extension is much higher than the existing building, almost as high as a 2 storey build. the new roof has ruined the view of the fields we used to have from our bedroom window and I feel that this cannot possibly have been agreed in the initial planning. How can I get this checked before the build is finished please?
hazie - 21-Jul-19 @ 2:04 PM
I asked our neighbours if they would object if we put an electric gate in the boundary fence giving us access off a lane into a communal area the drive would also cross a strip of grass which had been maintained by myself for 9 yrs.This strip ran along the boundary and the side of neighbours garage we knew part of this strip would be owned by us and the rest by the neighbour they had no objection so we applied and received planning permission and both neighbours are on the planning stating they had no objections.after spending £11,000 on the gate and drive 2 years later we receive a solicitors letter stating that as the gate is partly on their land they want us to remove it.regardless of who’s land the gate is on once they say they have no objections surely they can’t change this after we have spent all that money .
Go - 13-Jul-19 @ 1:59 PM
I live in a conservation area the road outside is very narrow with no pavement on my side and a very narrow one on the other. The neighbour next to me on same side has erected a very large wooden fence with spikes on This goes to the edged of the road making my entry by car very difficult and exit even more so as it's blind until halfway on to road The people in the house are very private and keep the gates fence etc closed not making it easy to approach them Any advice on what to do, don't want to fall out with someone I've never met Regards Anne
anne - 6-Jul-19 @ 1:57 PM
There is a private road running behind my house. This runs adjacent to a large plot of land that is split - in terms of ownership - between 4 of the properties. We all have right of access to the road to access the backs of our houses / our designated private land. One of our neighbours has children. Their house was extended removing the majority of the garden immediately adjacent to their house. They do, however, have a reasonable sized plot of land on the opposite side of the private road that they use to park their vehicle and house a medium sized shed. The children are being told, by their mother, to play on a plot of land that they do not own. This is causing ball damage to fences and constant landing of balls on cars. On at least one occasion significant damage has been done to another neighbour’s van which was fixed, and paid for, by our “problem neighbours”. They are also constantly parking on other plots of land. There have been several verbal and written requests to stop both activities. The neighbour has now stated in writing that she will continue to use the land as her children’s playground despite the requests. What can we do? It’s causing untold stress and anxiety.
Funnel - 29-Jun-19 @ 12:18 PM
My neighbour had plans passed to build a 2 storey extension with no encroachment onto neighbouring property as a stipulation the extension had to be stepped in 15 cm from the boundary. The neighbour didn’t want it stepping in so built on the boundary and now roofing overhangs onto my property. During building work the garden was raised substantially which has caused massive flooding problems in my garden. The council are not interested in the breaches of planning or the continuous flooding of my garden what can I do. No party wall agreement in place either.
Flo - 28-Jun-19 @ 9:16 AM
I am a resident of a DDA society in dwarka living on the 1st floor of a 4 story apartment building. After many years of living in this apartment My down stairs neighbours finally moved in and indoing so also built up their ground floor verandah into rooms. When doing their co instruction they had confirmed that if and when. We want to build atop the same they would have no problem and even extended the pillars they placed in a way to accommodate what was promised to us. All this was done with appropriate consideration to paid at the time of construction. Now that I am ready to build they wont let us build which seems to be coming from an ego fit that they are having as they have encroached a much larger space than they had originally suggested. I am of the firm belief that the society president will affirm. Our request to build but I would like to know what options I have just incase it doesn't work out with requests and amicable solutions thereof. Thanks AB
A.BHARAT - 14-Jun-19 @ 3:24 AM
The planning failed to notifiy us that an application was repositioned 16 metres closer to our house. The planning said at first it was a processing error. Then second reason stated 'as it was only 16 metres closer it was not necessary for neighbour notification'. The ombudsman's investigation found it was a conscious decision not to notifiy us. The planning admitted failures in administration and applogised. Then to add insult to injury the applicant continues to build the house and built it higher than allowed. The applicant applied for retrospective application and got it passed. I have contacted several solicitors and disappointed as cannot guarantee we would win the case and could costs alot of money. Where do we go from here?
Roma - 11-Jun-19 @ 3:04 AM
My new neighbor is turning the house into a HMO He did not place the required notice of proposals in our street and therefore nobody had any ideas of his converting this mid terraced of 4 house into a HMO. Once we were aware of his proposal 48 of the 50neighbours signed a petition against this.He is the 49th and the 50th decided to stay on the fence. Does anyone have any ideas?Know what my rights are?Please if you can Help me,I am 68 years of age.
Fuzzball 68 - 25-May-19 @ 12:24 AM
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