Extensions, boundaries and easements

Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby kalozo » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:24 pm

My neighbour has been rather cunning and devious when applying for planning permission for an extension and I would welcome some advice as I have exhausted all my options so far. Work started on the extension last week.

The properties are detached but are close together – 40cm at their nearest point. My neighbour applied to build a second storey extension. Local planning rules state second storey needs to be 1.5m from the boundary.

So my neighbour submitted plans with a redefined boundary further away from their property than the actual physical boundary in situ since at least 2001.

They were granted planning permission and my objections with the Council and the neighbour ignored. So they have permission for a bigger second storey extension closer to the physical boundary than they should – i.e. less than 1.5m.

They are building up on an extension which has been there since the 70s. The wall of this extension forms the boundary. Currently it is single storey with a flat roof. The gutter overhangs the boundary but I assume they have a prescriptive easement as this has likely been there more than 20 years but I don’t think they can evidence that.

They are changing the flat roof to pitched so the overhang of the gutter will increase.

So a couple of questions:
1) Is there anything I can do about the fact that planning was granted based upon misrepresentation of the boundary? I am assuming they completed a Certificate A that contains false information
2) If they have a prescriptive easement and change the structure e.g. changing the roof pitch and replacing the gutters does this break the easement?

The neighbour has been underhand from the start. They showed us plans over a glass of wine and then submitted completely different plans! So absolutely no trust…

Many thanks in advance!
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby Collaborate » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:40 pm

Not sure about this, but my view would be that the prescriptive easement was for guttering at its original height. That would mean that they do not have an easement to have guttering higher than it is at present.

Does the Party Wall Act apply? Have they served you notice?

If the PWA doesn't apply, they will have trouble gaining access to your land to do the work under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act, which only covers maintenance of an existing structure.

I presume when you say the wall forms the boundary that you mean that it is their wall but it it built so as to abut, but not straddle, the boundary.
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby MacadamB53 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:51 pm

Hi kalazo,

unless your boundaries have been determined as per s60 of the Land Registry Act 2002 (which at present is a rare thing) I'm not sure what evidence you're relying on to substantiate your claim that the guttering overhangs the boundary? or that they needed to submit something other than a Cert A?

without this info it's going to be difficult to give you an answer to your questions...

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby kalozo » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:16 am

The boundary wall abuts but doesn't straddle the boundary. There should have been a PWA but they refused to obtain one.

The boundary fence joins the corner of the neighbours house. So the wall of their house is the continuation of the boundary. We have access between the properties. The neighbour doesn't.

I have photos going back to 2001 showing the boundary has not changed.

The boundary they drew on the plan is in a different place to reality. For example it does not show the fence attached to the house. They have just moved the boundary line towards our property. So unless they are disputing the physical boundary I don't see how they can have completed a cert A unless I misunderstand what a cert A means?
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:20 am

Hi kalozo,

So unless they are disputing the physical boundary

1. what do you mean by 'physical' boundary?
2. what evidence are you relying on to support your idea of where the boundary is?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby kalozo » Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:24 am

By physical boundary I mean the fence that has been in place since at least 2001 with digital photos as evidence.
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:50 am

Hi kalozo,

you mentioned the fence ran to the house - not beside it - so all you can say is that the fence marks the boundary for that stretch.

that doesn't prove the wall - rather than the guttering - marks the rest of the boundary.

it is entirely possible the entire extension - guttering and all - was built on their own land in the 70s and that for aesthetic/practical reasons they chose to terminate the fence as they did (or their fencing contractor did it in error but it was left that way because it was of no consequence).

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby kalozo » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:50 am

OK thanks so the gutter vs wall boundary is a difficult one.

The plans upon which permission was granted showed a different boundary to the physical location of the fence. So this has enabled them to build a bigger and more imposing second storey extension than if they had accurately reflected the boundary. Local planning states that second storey extensions need to be 1.5m away from the boundary.

There first application got rejected as they proposed two storey right to the fictitious boundary line. They have now reduced to 1.5 away from the fictitious line when in fact it should be 1.5m back from the fence.

During the planning application, I objected but the council planner ignored it. Is there anything I can do about this now?
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby Roblewis » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:19 pm

Regardless of the planning drawing the general requirement to be 1.5metres from the boundary still stands as an implied condition of consent. You can injunct any incursion within this zone once work starts. I would immediately contact the LA Chief Exec and lodge a formal complaint that the LA has apparently granted permission for a 2 storey extension within 1.5m of the boundary line to the detriment of your property.
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:14 pm

Hi kalozo,

Local planning rules state second storey needs to be 1.5m from the boundary.

can we see the actual wording of this policy?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby kalozo » Fri Mar 25, 2016 6:51 pm

The wording is as follows:

E3 Space Around Building - You will need to consider how your extension will affect the general character of the streetscene or setting to ensure that it is not eroded. Existing trees and hedges should be retained and integrated with the development where possible. In tightly developed areas with minimal gaps between the sides of houses, two storey extensions should be at least 1.5m away from any side boundary…

I assume 40cm would be considered a minimal gap?

Thanks...
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby despair » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:21 pm

You need to contact the Planning Enforcement officer PDQ on Tues am and insist he investigates

copy same to Chief Planning Officer because if they want 1.5m from boundary they need to get out and see whats happening pronto
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:27 pm

Hi kalozo,

two storey extensions should be at least 1.5m away from any side boundary

Local planning rules state second storey needs to be 1.5m from the boundary


'should be' is not the same and 'needs to be'.

does the approved plan explicitly show there being 1.5m between the extension and the boundary?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby kalozo » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:40 pm

The plan doesn't explicitly show 1.5m marked between the extension and the fictitious boundary.

However the extension is exactly 1.5m from the fictitious boundary.

Thanks...
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Re: Extensions, boundaries and easements

Postby MacadamB53 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 10:48 pm

Hi kalozo,

if the plan doesn't explicitly show the distance between the extension and the boundary as being 1.5m where are you getting that measurement from?

Kind regards, Mac
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