If your neighbours are planning an extension or addition to their home, which you suspect may impede your access to light, you may wish to raise concerns or even dispute the planning application. However, the process is not necessarily straightforward. Those in charge of granting planning permission do not directly consider matters of right to light. But you can do a few things to protect your property’s (and garden’s) access to daylight.
Loss Of Light Objections For Planning Applications
Unfortunately, you cannot object to a neighbour’s proposed planning application on the grounds of loss of light. Planning permission is granted by the local authorities, who determine the application based on their planning policies. They are not obligated or even able to assess legal easements such as right to light. As a result planning permission disputes on the grounds of right to light will not be considered. This will, however, raise your concerns with your neighbours.
Raising Right To Light Concerns With A Neighbour
You may find it more beneficial to raise your concerns with your neighbours outside of the planning process. Write to them directly outlining your concerns. This provides a paper trail demonstrating your opposition to the development. Raising concerns early may work in your favour if the situation progresses to a right to light dispute.
Raising Concerns Of Loss Of Light To Your Property Or Garden
Whilst local authorities may not consider legal matters of right to light, they have a duty to consider local and national planning policies. They, therefore, should consider the impact of neighbouring amenities. Daylight to your habitable room windows, rear gardens, and sitting areas should be taken into consideration.
How Daylight And Sunlight Assessments Could Help
Planning applicants are normally asked to provide a Daylight and Sunlight Assessment by their local council. However, if this doesn’t happen, a neighbour has an assessment prepared to aid an objection. If you pursue this avenue, you must be aware of time constraints and may need a time extension to submit objection documents.
Daylight And Sunlight Rule Of Thumb Tests
In some cases a full assessment may not be necessary. You may be able to demonstrate that certain “rule of thumb” tests are not met from a review of the applicant’s drawings. With this information, it may be possible to have the local authority require a full assessment from the applicant, allowing you to avoid the costs.