FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby A25WEST » Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:51 pm

Hi,

My sister has been living for over 30years in one of the two bungalows built side by side between a row of terrace houses.
There are three windows on the side of my sisters bungalow which face the drive of the other bungalow, there is a boundary wall 60cm from my sister bungalow and there is a ground height difference of approximately 60cm between the properties.

The other bungalow was recently purchased, and the owner applied for planning permission to convert it into a house.
The application was refused on the grounds of reducing the light to 3 windows of my sisters home, the owner appealed the decision and placed 2m fence panels in front of the windows blocking the light to three of my sisters rooms, the appeal was also dismissed on the same grounds.

The new owner has refused to take the fence panels down telling my sister that she has no right to light, and he knows the law because he is a surveyor and a member of RICS. He has resubmitted his planning application.

The Councils planning enforcement officer has said he can do nothing about the right to light issue.

My question is how can it be right that someone can block the light to your windows with fence panels and the authorities do nothing about it, whilst refusing planning permission on the grounds of cutting light to the same windows.
The issue is having a detrimental effect on my sisters well being and I would like to get it sorted for her in the correct manner.

All comments welcome
Thanks
p.s.How do I add photos
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby A25WEST » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:56 pm

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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby span » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:08 pm

Image


Just stick those links one at a time in between the [img] tags
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby A25WEST » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:24 pm

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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby despair » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:46 pm

Might be the angle of the photo but those panels look taller than 2 metres

Jon Maynard is I believe the Right to Light guru who has a website

Looks to me like your sisters bungalow was originally small but has heaviliy extended backwards relying for a great deal of light via next door


whilst I am not sure the neighbour is 100% correct I think your sister has to a point got herself into this sticky situation
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby cleo5 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:26 pm

http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consum ... -to-light/
Seems to me that as your sister has enjoyed her right to light via that neighbour's side garden for over 20 years she has the law on her side. Unless it's changed.
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby MacadamB53 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:04 am

Hi A25WEST,

unless it's by a highway or in a conservation area, a 2m high fence is granted planning permission under Part 2, Class A of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015.

which means the neighbour does not need to apply for planning permission and therefore the LPA have no involvement.

and it also means your sister can either accept the loss of light, convince him to remove/alter it, or else take him to court (where she would first need to prove her property had a right to light).

aren't those fence panels free-standing, though?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby mr sheen » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:47 am

A right to light is difficult to prove especially where there are properties close together. A light meter reading may show light is still getting into the bungalow, so it is pretty subjective. Many properties (including a bungalow I previously owned) have windows looking straight out onto a 2m wall or fence
The neighbour does indeed seem to know the limits of what he is entitled to do ie build a 2m fence between properties.

It would be risky (and costly) to seek an injunction to get the fence removed on the basis of a right to light since The burden of proof is yours and would require professional reports, evidence of light historically, meter readings to prove substantial loss of light etc and his defence is simple - he has the right to build the fence. So all the costly preparations are yours and his are nil.
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby COGGY » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:57 am

Hi
Which of your sister's rooms are affected by the fence? Some rooms, i.e. living room, have more rights under the "Right to Light" than say a bathroom. Coggy
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby COGGY » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:22 am

Hi
You or your sister could ask if the neighbour would consider using opaque perspex in front of the windows. This would give him privacy and your sister light. I think you would need to pay for this as he already has his fence. Coggy
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby raymilland » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:05 pm

The application was refused on the grounds of reducing the light to 3 windows of my sisters home, the owner appealed the decision and placed 2m fence panels in front of the windows blocking the light to three of my sisters rooms, the appeal was also dismissed on the same grounds.


Is there any reason he has placed the panels there other than a vindictive act as a result of his planning application being refused?
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby ukmicky » Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:04 am

Their are surveyors who specialise in light reduction and right to light. They can take measurements and determine how much light you previously had and what your entitled to . Would probably be your next option.

The only way there would be no legal right to light is if your sisters property deeds have a covenant restricting her right to light.
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby mugwump » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:48 am

ukmicky wrote:Their are surveyors who specialise in light reduction and right to light. They can take measurements and determine how much light you previously had and what your entitled to . Would probably be your next option.

The only way there would be no legal right to light is if your sisters property deeds have a covenant restricting her right to light.
Or the PP for what appears to be a later extension included the restriction.
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby ukmicky » Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:20 am

mugwump wrote:
ukmicky wrote:Their are surveyors who specialise in light reduction and right to light. They can take measurements and determine how much light you previously had and what your entitled to . Would probably be your next option.

The only way there would be no legal right to light is if your sisters property deeds have a covenant restricting her right to light.
Or the PP for what appears to be a later extension included the restriction.





I cant see how a planning authority could justify imposing a planning condition that removed a properties right to benefit from a right to light easement over a neighbour . I think such a condition would be challengeable
Advice given is not legally qualified and you are advised to gain a professional opinion
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Re: FENCES AND RIGHT TO LIGHT

Postby Collaborate » Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:58 pm

ukmicky wrote: I cant see how a planning authority could justify imposing a planning condition that removed a properties right to benefit from a right to light easement over a neighbour . I think such a condition would be challengeable



I agree wholeheartedly. It would be ultra vires.
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