My neighbour has sent me plans for their extension and it will impose on my property. What can I do?
Whilst it’s acceptable for your neighbour to make external changes to their home, it can often be a time for worry and uncertainty for you. If you have a good relationship with your neighbour, Philip Antino would encourage you to maintain amicability to ensure that the building process goes ahead without any upsets – even if you do not agree with the building works planned, as long as they do not impact upon your property rights.
Even though the works planned, on paper, look as though it will impose on your property, your neighbour will have been in touch with the Local Council for it to be considered for planning permission and/or building regulations approval. The council do not assess planning from your perspective and just because approval is given does not mean they can interfere with your property rights.
It’s interesting to note that in October 2008, 'permitted development rights' were extended to include the following building projects that can take place without applying for permission:
• Home extensions
• Installing solar panels
• Roof alterations
• Laying patios and driveways
These new permitted development rights were due to expire on 30 May 2019, but have now been made permanent by the government.
Planning permission is still needed for:
• Extending a flat or maisonette
• Creating a self-contained flat by dividing off part of the property
• Loft Conversions
• Constructing a whole separate house in your garden
• Anything that might need a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road
• Dividing off part of your home to use as business or commercial premises, like a workshop, or adding a parking space for a commercial vehicle
• Anything that could obstruct the view of road users
Now whilst planning permission may not be needed for certain projects, a party wall notice will need to be served for work that impacts the party wall line between properties. A party wall notice may be needed for the following works:
If you feel that your neighbour’s extension imposes on your party wall, it’s time to get in touch with Philip Antino. He is an experienced Party Wall Surveyor that travels throughout the UK, including: South Essex, North Essex, East London, South East London, Norfolk and Cambridge.
With over 20 years’ experience, he will be able to advise you on whether or not the works proposed by your neighbour need to be altered. He can undertake an inspection and organise a response to your neighbour that adheres to the remits of the Party Wall etc, Act 1996. It is the role of a Party Wall Surveyor to ensure that the building work that is being carried out fully complies with the Act and that this compliance protects adjoining properties from structural damage, inconvenience, and nuisance.
For your peace of mind contact Party Wall Surveyor Philip Antino today by:
Calling 01245 490 019
Our eco system consists of all living organisms. Trees play a major role in the ecosystem and since many of our trees are unique, their importance to the environment cannot be underestimated. The community voice guidebook advises that 100 trees remove approximately 5 tonnes of CO2 and 1000lbs of other pollutants within their lifetime. CO2 is toxic to the human body so it is important for trees to remove it.
There are also other benefits from trees which relate to the aesthetic beauty that they bring to our environment. However, it is regretful that when certain trees are planted within close proximity to buildings, they can have an adverse effect on the structural integrity of a building and those in the immediate vicinity.
Trees of particular importance are often protected by a TPO which could be applied for a number of reasons. Philip Antino does not advocate a scorched earth policy by any means, but there are times when difficult decisions have to be reached and certain trees removed because they are detrimental to the environment and the immediate vicinity where certain buildings are being affected.
It is therefore misconceived that a TPO once applied to a specific tree cannot be removed. That is simply not the case, but it does not mean that it is a straightforward process and in order to remove a TPO, certain criteria has to be demonstrated in order to the justify lifting of a TPO.
Mr & Mrs W recently (2019), instructed Philip Antino of APA Property Services and Antino and Associates to advise them about a horse chestnut tree within their property. The tree was planted at the same time as the property was built in 1971. It is unusual to find a horse chestnut tree in a residential garden because they are primarily woodland trees, but nonetheless that was part of the planning application and a TPO was applied from the very beginning.
Unfortunately, the tree has now grown to a disproportionate height, which is having a significant impact upon not only Mr & Mrs W’s property but their neighbouring properties.
Tree roots will grow up to 1.5 times the height of the tree which is estimated to be 15 – 16m in height, and indeed the roots were also growing close to the soil surface towards the house.
It was anticipated that the root barrier installed in 1971 has deteriorated and subsequently failed.
Distortion was starting to occur within the footpaths and patios around the perimeter of the property and cracking and movement was starting to occur to the property.
Philip Antino was instructed to prepare a report and make an application to the local authority to have the TPO lifted. His report set out (with a heavy heart) the reasons why the TPO should be lifted, whilst going to significant lengths to explain that Philip Antino would never advocate a scorched earth policy, and where an application for the removal of the TPO is implemented we do so for very good reasons and grounds.
The substantive points put forward on behalf of Mr & Mrs W by Philip Antino were recognised by the local authority and the TPO was lifted.
Arboriculturalists have now been instructed to advise on the felling of the tree, which will have to be undertaken over a substantial period of time due to the consequential problems arising out of potential heave. This will be monitored and managed with Philip Antino, of Antino and Associates, providing an overseeing role over the next 5 to 10 years.
If you have concerns about a tree which has a TPO and would like advice - do not hesitate to contact Philip Antino at email@example.com or call 01245 490 019 and we will assist you as far as possible.
However, please bear in mind that we will not unless there are significant grounds, recommend an application being made to the local authority for reasons set out above. Trees are an important part of our ecosystem, and their removal must not be undertaken lightly.