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Neighbour disputes - is there ever a winner?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Bazarchie, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I usually take the path of least resistance but I am getting into a dispute with one of our neighbours. They are building an extension which they claim has planning permission but the council has no record of this. I am inclined to raise a complaint with the council as it could impact on the value of our property and I do not like being overlooked.

    They are now complaining about the noise of our dogs. Our first such complaint in 10 years. Dogs do bark but they are indoors most of the day with me and only bark to make their presence known when outside.

    They have a young family, they are on higher ground and are very noisy when playing games or entertaining in their rear garden. Much more than previous occupants of that house. Even our guests have noticed and we have had to move indoors.

    Am I just grumpy or should I stand up for my rights? I do not want to fall out with them but a line must be drawn.
  2. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Be absolutely clear on facts. The planning permission issue should be clear cut.

    Noise issues are more difficult, and potentially more expensive.
    Zou likes this.
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Bad neighbours are always a problem but rolling over only encourages bullies. I'd start by going to the planning office and asking them if they're sure they've had no contact on the extension. If not, check with them what the current rules are and ask them to pay a visit and assess if the extension falls within those rules. There should in any case be some building regulation oversight.

    Once that's out of the way you can decide what if anything else needs to be done.
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    There are never any winners with fall outs with neighbors.
    You either live and let live or move.
    Gezza, Dan S and TheFatControlleR like this.
  5. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    You'll need to check whether the extension constitutes 'Permitted Development' (PD). This term relates to various criteria which determine whether or not Planning Permission is required.

    If it is PD, then they are entitled to build it without Planning Permission, whereas if is not PD, then they should have obtained Planning Permission. You'll need to contact your Local Authority for full details of the PD criteria (they are quite complicated). Many years ago, I dealt with this stuff professionally, but I can't help with specifics in the current era, because the criteria changed considerably about five years ago - rendering my knowledge somewhat obsolete.

    Until you have established for certain whether the extension is PD or not, you'd be well-advised to avoid falling out over the matter - otherwise you might find yourself eating some humble pie.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
    Zou and Learning like this.
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    There was a relaxation on planning permission last year. It time expired but I don't know when for sure, maybe end Q1 2019 for major works (not finishing). Folk could do a lot w/o permission if they hit the completion window.
  7. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Indeed, there does have to be some give or take, in both directions. The issue of the extension should be reasonably clear as to whether it requires planning permission or not, but will still be subject to building regulations. Noise issues are a whole different ball-game, my own view is that you have to put up with each others, within limits, a dog barking or children playing are normal sounds. One of my neighbours has a Labrador that barks quite lot, I am used to it and it doesn't actually bother me, although some others, who actually live further away than I do grumble about her from time to time.
  8. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    Are you in England or Scotland, as different rules apply.
  9. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies. I am under English law.

    I have already researched the planning situation and have corresponded with the duty planning officer on the council’s helpline. Permitted development rights were removed from the estate a long time ago, so nearly everything, including somewhat surprisingly, garden sheds, requires planning permission. The council has also confirmed they have no record of a planning application or permission for the extension. So either the council has made a mistake with its records or the neighbour or their architect is at fault. I will probably make a formal compliant which the council will have to investigate. This may make no difference as they will probably give retrospective permission, but at least I will be satisfied everything is correct.

    The noise issue is less clear. The point above that dogs barking and children playing being normal sounds , within limits, is well made. We have had dogs for 10 years and until this week have never had a complaint. I have offered the neighbour a meeting to discuss.
    peterba likes this.
  10. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Another thing to remember is that if you were to sell your property, you are required to declare any disputes with your neighbours. :eek:
  11. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    How would you do that?
    Surely the only way to find out if someone has had a notice served on them by the Local Authority is to have a Local Land Charge search done, oh and one would have to be careful what one said about one's neighbours because of the laws of defamation...
  12. LesleySM

    LesleySM Well-Known Member

    I am glad I get on reasonably well with my neighbours
  13. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    For some years now, it has been the case that one of the questions on the solicitor's questionnaire sheet about the property that you are trying to sell, includes a declaration either that you have had no dispute with your neighbours, or that you have had a dispute - and you then have to provide a brief description of the reason for the dispute.

    I'm no lawyer, but I presume that a false declaration would have some sort of consequences, if an un-declared dispute were to materially disadvantage the new owner.
    Gezza likes this.
  14. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    I'm in the happy position of being able to claim that our neighbours have become good friends. Makes life a whole lot easier when it comes to work that affects both of us.

    Learning likes this.
  15. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Oh dear - shades of townees moving into villages and protesting about cocks crowing, cattle mooing, sheep bleating etc. etc. Long, long ago I had a creation scheme job in a council planning department which involved going back through all the archived planning applications and plotting them onto 'current' 6" and 25" maps. In some of the rural applications the objections made fascinating reading!

  16. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    An application to build about 5 houses just outside our village was objected to because, "they can be seen from our back garden".

    Geren likes this.
  17. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Other, perhaps, than folk wearing wigs and gowns, M'Lord. . . .
    Petrochemist likes this.
  18. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I am very fortunate. The owner of the dwelling next to mine is courteous and polite, incredibly intelligent, desperately good looking and has a fantastic sense of humour.

    Practically a god, really. Certainly a demi-god.

    I think I ought to mention at this point that I own it... :D
  19. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Update. I raised the issue with the council who said they graded potential planning issues into 3 categories but due to lack of funds they only investigate the major items being based on those causing effect to the environment and local amenity, and where there will be specific benefits arising. Others may be investigated when they have the time.

    Waste of time and effectively means householders can do what they like.

    Whilst I understand the lack of funds, if local councils are supposed to enforce planning law what is the point?

    I am tempted to ask a FOI question which will give me some satisfaction but will not help my particular case.
    peterba likes this.
  20. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear this... not what you were hoping for, I'm sure. Sadly, the legislation is rendered effectively useless by the inability to 'police' it.

    [rant mode on] Yet another Tory cut comes home to roost. :mad: Local Authorites have been punitively starved of central funding since 2010, whilst having their ability to make up the shortfall from Council Tax constrained. Grumbling about cuts in Local Authority services is common currency, IME, yet the bloody Tories are (apparently) leading in the polls - despite (or is it: as a result of :() having been taken over by maniacs.
    It's about time that the penny dropped, that tax cuts mean cuts in services. :mad: [rant mode off. Apologies for the 'drift', Bazarchie]
    ascu75 and daft_biker like this.

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