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

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 18 Apr 2021 | 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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Hi everyone I have a question is my neighbour allowed to erect a trellis panel against my 3ft fence in the front garden without permission I an in a council house and have not been informed in anyway that they were going to do it , when I open my front door I'm faced with a 6ft trellis that looks monstrous and discussionis with the neighbour is not possible as they can prove to be very sociableThankyou for any advise you can give
Sandy boy - 18-Apr-21 @ 11:25 AM
I’ve just found out that my neighbour wants to building a block of flats in their garden. Which will block the sun in the garden and my other neighbours gardens will overlook my small daughters bedroom. This is all news to me as I never received a letter from the council but my other neighbours received 2 letters over the past few months. I work for Royal Mail and did not once receive any letter about planning Application, So now I’ve missed the chance to object! What can I do now? Who do I blame for not receiving either letters? can I take level action?
william osborne - 9-Apr-21 @ 8:39 AM
I live in a terraced house. My next door neighbour had an extension built to the rear of his house 7-8 years ago or maybe even earlier. There is a strange thing that I've noticed recently about the width of this building. It is not the same along the depth of the extension. The depth of the extension is about 2 meters, and the last 2-3 feet of it the width is about a third of the brick (approx 3 inch) wider than the rest of the extension.I have already contacted my City Councill but their response was 'If an extension was erected 4 years ago it becomes lawful due to the passage of time.' Is it true that nothing can be done after 4 years? How could he get a planning permissionto built over the boundary?Or maybe it's not so obvious, and i am wrong, and he is right?
Nat - 19-Mar-21 @ 1:44 PM
we have just found out one of our neighbours i changing his rented house into two flats is planning permission needed
MOUSE - 12-Mar-21 @ 7:02 AM
The guy whose garden is on our road had permission granted to build a garage at the top of his garden. This garage is opposite our house. I objected as it is a double garage and it meant taking away too many spaces on an already difficult to park road. He has got the permission,but with conditions. He is supposed to park his wifes car in the garage and out his in front. This he does not do. He brought a kit car to play with and keeps that in the garage, meaning his wifes car is still on the road. He also does not have a dropped kurb and uses a traffic cone to block the road when he is not in. The planning for the garage also states that it is to be used as a garage for the enjoyment of the family as anything else would have an impact on the areas parking. To make matters worse the wife has now opened a dog grooming business in a separate room in the garage, which means we are going to end up with clients coming and going making parking even worse. Do I have a case to put to the council and who do I send it to?
Jl - 5-Mar-21 @ 9:39 PM
Hi, My neighbour has built an extension and in the planning permission it stated that first the demolition of the garage before commencing with erection of extension which he has not done as just taken door off.This is affecting the light into my garden. Does he have to knock it down as planning stated? Also I have a detached house and his property is now 2ft away from mine and they play loud music day and night. Where do I stand? I appreciate your help. Kindest regards Stuart Johnson
Stu76 - 5-Mar-21 @ 3:29 PM
Hello i would like some advice if you here deceived about some one taking away trees from your property and not told it was for line of sight to get planning permission for a factory said it was just tidy the road up can i stop this going ahead thanks
Damian - 21-Feb-21 @ 10:24 PM
Hi. My neighbour has a history of neglecting her property which is attached to mine (semi detached). We have had to seek help from Environmental health and social services in the past. she has now asked the council for a dropped kerb. It is the siting of the dropped kerb that worries me as the driveway would then be literally on our border with her property. She has a shed which would have to be demolished in order to facilitate the driveway but this shed is attached to our shed. We paid a lot of money last year to have our shed restored and we are worried that she won't make good any damage she causes and that removing her shed will cause the party wall to let in water. We won't be allowed on her property to do any remedial work and she sure won't do any herself. Also she would have to demolish the wall that is between her garden and the street. I fear that our wall may be damaged where it meets hers. I wonder if I have any rights to object or if there is any legal letter I can send her in advance to guarantee compensation if she either doesn't finish the work and makes it look even worse than the tip it is already. Also, she has a perimeter of about 100ft so it is very annoying that she has chosen to park all 4 of her cars right next to the boundary wall. Additionally, she will have to either excavate or build higher for the driveway as the houses are lower than the road. Is she allowed to lower or raise the level of her garden alongside the (garden) party wall. I'm sure it would make the brick wall unstable if it was lowered.
Deb - 18-Feb-21 @ 12:34 AM
Having just checked the planning permission for our loft conversation done back in 2004 online via planning portal I was curious to see if our neighbour had permission for his built in 1997 as at the time he said he had not finished and not had the inspector in. Were the applications put on line after a certain year?or should they be showing as far back as 1997?
snow - 16-Feb-21 @ 12:09 PM
To Whom it May Concern, My new neighbours from 2017 had their semi detached house renovated for over a year with a loft conversion, rear extension and garage converted to living room. They didn't want to pay for a party wall agreement and I felt too intimidated to insist.The neighbour instead looked around the house.He has harassed me a few times asking to buy my house saying I'd be better in a flat.I've said I've no intention of moving.They haven't spoken to me for 3 months.Since the works have been completed, their slamming of doors and such is a lot worse and can hear them clearly in their rear extension which I didn't expect to as its outside our house and chairs scraping across the floor.Is there anyone from the council who can check their planning application was carried out accurately as I can't help thinking things have been built to create maximum disturbance to try to make me move house.The neighbour occasionally parks in our garden but police are powerless and he was hostile when I complained once. However the slamming problem is what is making me lose sleep.
Becka - 14-Feb-21 @ 12:36 PM
To whom it may concern I’m writing for your advice.about the conversion I’ve done in the rear part of the garden but it is owned by the housing association. I was told that I could feel a chill out room with an outside bathroom from the surveyor And planning from the council that long as I keep the building 2.5 metres.I would not need any planning even though it’s a concrete building is to build with in it’s borderline and not overseeing any neighbours.I have followed all the regulations they asked me to do plus me the only thing they asked me once it has been finished is to provide them with the necessary certificates one for the plumbing and one for the electrics.Which I will do once a year has been completed or plant plumbing has been done and all pictures have been sent plus email we have followed the guidelines step-by-step it also provided them with the pictures and the company we get our building supply from.Now once all that has been done it’s not fully completed fully completed concerning the splash room they want to say is right even though we followed the guidelines I think this is a right action and threaten me with my home and cook procedure of demolishing the building I would like to know my legal right of action.I don’t understand What has going on you can’t tell the tenant that they can and then after a while because I’ve got a case against you I’ve been backtracking of what we agreed even though it was verbally agreed but not done in writing and now all the plumbing work has been done you want the tenant to pull up everything even though it has been done to A high standard you want the tenant to pull everything out at that“ or you demolish the building even go follow your guidelines I need to know where I stand because it’s not an authorised if it was an alright I would not have email concerning the building would appreciate for any information that you can provide me with any Information and legal right to stop them harassing me and to keep my outside building thank you Miss Rm Larmond
Xenos1 - 6-Feb-21 @ 9:46 AM
To whom it may concern I’m writing for your advice.about the conversion I’ve done in the rear part of the garden but it is owned by the housing association. I was told that I could feel a chill out room with an outside bathroom from the surveyor And planning from the council that long as I keep the building 2.5 metres.I would not need any planning even though it’s a concrete building is to build with in it’s borderline and not overseeing any neighbours.I have followed all the regulations they asked me to do plus me the only thing they asked me once it has been finished is to provide them with the necessary certificates one for the plumbing and one for the electrics.Which I will do once a year has been completed or plant plumbing has been done and all pictures have been sent plus email we have followed the guidelines step-by-step it also provided them with the pictures and the company we get our building supply from.Now once all that has been done it’s not fully completed fully completed concerning the splash room they want to say is right even though we followed the guidelines I think this is a right action and threaten me with my home and cook procedure of demolishing the building I would like to know my legal right of action.I don’t understand What has going on you can’t tell the tenant that they can and then after a while because I’ve got a case against you I’ve been backtracking of what we agreed even though it was verbally agreed but not done in writing and now all the plumbing work has been done you want the tenant to pull up everything even though it has been done to A high standard you want the tenant to pull everything out at that“ or you demolish the building even go follow your guidelines I need to know where I stand because it’s not an authorised if it was an alright I would not have email concerning the building would appreciate for any information that you can provide me with any Information and legal right to stop them harassing me and to keep my outside building thank you Miss Rm Larmond
Xenos1 - 6-Feb-21 @ 8:11 AM
To whom it may concern I’m writing for your advice.about the conversion I’ve done in the rear part of the garden but it is owned by the housing association. I was told that I could feel a chill out room with an outside bathroom from the surveyor And planning from the council that long as I keep the building 2.5 metres.I would not need any planning even though it’s a concrete building is to build with in it’s borderline and not overseeing any neighbours.I have followed all the regulations they asked me to do plus me the only thing they asked me once it has been finished is to provide them with the necessary certificates one for the plumbing and one for the electrics.Which I will do once a year has been completed or plant plumbing has been done and all pictures have been sent plus email we have followed the guidelines step-by-step it also provided them with the pictures and the company we get our building supply from.Now once all that has been done it’s not fully completed fully completed concerning the splash room they want to say is right even though we followed the guidelines I think this is a right action and threaten me with my home and cook procedure of demolishing the building I would like to know my legal right of action.I don’t understand What has going on you can’t tell the tenant that they can and then after a while because I’ve got a case against you I’ve been backtracking of what we agreed even though it was verbally agreed but not done in writing and now all the plumbing work has been done you want the tenant to pull up everything even though it has been done to A high standard you want the tenant to pull everything out at that“ or you demolish the building even go follow your guidelines I need to know where I stand because it’s not an authorised if it was an alright I would not have email concerning the building would appreciate for any information that you can provide me with any Information and legal right to stop them harassing me and to keep my outside building thank you Miss Rm Larmond
Xenos1 - 6-Feb-21 @ 8:10 AM
If neighbours planning permission states: First floor window shall be of a design not capable of being opened below a height of 1.7m above finished floor level and shall remain so glazed and non-openable. Does this mean that they are not allowed to install standard windows that open. Can I submit a complaint to my local Kent Council and force them to change the design of the windows that have already been installed.
Window Licker - 4-Feb-21 @ 7:50 PM
They want to build 26 flats in a house with large garden, but has got lots oftrees and will impact the rest of the neighbours gardens will be overlooked. What could I do if they accept the planning application which was voted in favour by councillors??? Thank you ??
Nico - 2-Feb-21 @ 8:37 AM
Hi - Our neighbours received planning permission for a garden room facing North ! Our suspicions were raised on the build alone the amount of trades people in the room - I got wind via a third party that they have converted the " garden room " into a fully functioning office. We have written formally to the Planning Dept however they suggest he's working from home & his business address is elsewhere so we have no right of appeal - is this correct ?
Mick - 28-Jan-21 @ 4:43 PM
MY neighbour has built a dormer room against ours which was built 27 yrs ago .We knew they would remove the cheek tiles, but, after this they have removed tiles from the frontage of our dormer and built on TOP of my property. What can I do about this ?My neighbour told me to mind my own business and let his builders get on with their work .
debz - 23-Jan-21 @ 7:23 PM
Hi I want to build a loft extension to my property. I am going to use the permitted development route so I don’t need to to get planning permission and neighbours cannot stop me. I have now found out from the builder that I need access to my neighbour drive to carry out the works. My neighbour has refused saying he had the experience in the past different house and it was a totally nightmare. This has killed my idea in the water. Can a neighbour refuse ? Thought I can take him to court to gain access ? Do I have case. Thanks in advance.
Cowhead - 6-Jan-21 @ 5:22 PM
My neighbour put up a giant shed, about 6 years ago, it's at the front of our properties and right next to my boundary wall. Blocking light and a view, it's a 12ft x 12ft x 10ft, his property sits much higher than mine and its quite monstrous looking out of my door. I hadn't thought about the permissions etc because it's a big shed. It's a friend who's pointed out how big it is and close. After such a long time is there anything I can do. He's the most vile of neighbours and no conversation was held when he put it up. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
Japears - 27-Dec-20 @ 10:16 AM
My neighbour has built a monstrosity of a garden shed type building at his back garden. It is an eyesore, is right next to my wall and much higher. It has been built with plywood and since it's rained for last month it's now black and warped and looking very unsafe. It's prob 12ftx12ftx10ft high without a roof yet.Would it need planning permission as I havent been notified or even had courtesy of a conversation regarding given that it def impacts on my garden and view! I have bought my house whilst he is renting. Is there anything I can do? Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers.
D - 12-Dec-20 @ 1:40 PM
my neighbor's are building an extension at the back of the house and they are going the full width of the building and nearly four meters in length, problem is, they are building a slanted roof on it, and it will stop light coming into our windows. what can we do and who to complain to?
Steve - 3-Dec-20 @ 5:45 PM
Hi my neighbours opposite me are still in the undecided planning stage of their planning permission for an extension. However they have already started digging and putting in the foundations for said extension. Is this allowed?
Karen - 26-Nov-20 @ 6:40 AM
When I moved into my property 5years ago the garden had beenfenced off for over 20years. I have since replaced the fencing to the same boundary. Part of the garden is not registered but I hold a pair of old deeds that a company of surveyors have confirmed that the land belongs to my property. The local planning department have issued an enforcement notice saying I do not own the land but they won’t provide any form of evidence to counter my deeds. Does anyone have any suggestions as how I can move forward? Thanks
Scoobydoo - 20-Nov-20 @ 9:20 PM
We have managed to fall out with our neighbours over there extension. originally they planned a double story extension and we objected and the council upheld our complaint and they have not spoken to us since. They resubmitted a single storey which went through. The build runs right down the side of our property and they originally agreed to us taking the border fence down. When we did that they have now kick off and are demanding that it is reinstated. We have also have a closer look at the original plans and planning consent. There new build is closer than the plans say it should by just over a foot and they were supposed to convert and extend there garage and not demolish it a build a completely new building as it wouldn't match the existing property, we don't really want to go down this line but would like to understand what options we have as the letters we are getting from them are getting quite nasty. Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Richie121 - 19-Nov-20 @ 4:26 PM
I have neighbours who have build what appears to be a 3/4 roomed separated building in their back garden. I have no idea what this is used for but it looks very much like an annex. Is this allowed without planning permission.
Skinnyminny - 15-Nov-20 @ 9:44 AM
Neighbours (bottom of my garden has a boundery fence) have constructed a loft conversion during lockdown.This is now a 3 storey building with windows facing my property.No planning permission with local council only for a wall at the front of the property.They have removed the chimney breast.Rendered the walls Ns painted them white.The building now looks well out of place and I have lost the privacy to my property.Any advice is greatly appreciated as it's time we made a stand on this happening and affecting our mental health. TiA
Tray - 8-Nov-20 @ 12:47 PM
My neighbour has built a out house in his back garden its an eyesore its right by my fence and Its higher than my fence. I've never seen any sort of planning permission what can I do.
Kay - 3-Nov-20 @ 3:37 PM
My neighbour is doing work at the rear of the property, they are putting a toilet in and the pipping is partly on our side and the work men have dug up in the shared alley way making the pipe connect from our toilet to their new toilet and the pipe is partly on our side. The neighbour originally said they are doing alterations at the back but not putting in a toilet. Plus I really think these so called builders are a bunch of cowboys. Thank you
Nicky - 31-Oct-20 @ 10:18 AM
my neighbour has just had a raised patio done . They have gone past the boundary posts with the hardcore up to our gravel boards then used a walker plate to compact it down then put the flagstones on . Our gavel boards are 300mm high, top of stones are 60mm above our gravel boards when they finished. Is there any thing I can do.my wife tried talking to them but they said wecan't do anything.
Tez - 28-Sep-20 @ 1:41 PM
I am in detached bungalow however next door have had a new car port done which us sitting on my Guttering
Tracey adams - 21-Sep-20 @ 5:31 PM
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