Neighbouring Extn windows

Discussion in 'Sites, planning, self-builds and extensions' started by lizmoody, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. lizmoody

    lizmoody Guest

    My neighbour has built a long extension in his rear garden. The windows which will be groundfloor bedroom windows are looking into my kitchen and garden. Is there anything I can do about this? Thanks, Liz
     
  2. onq

    onq Former user

    Posts:
    4,380
    Hi Liz.

    The area you describe as being affected is normally considered the private rear open space of a house.

    I'm wondering is there a fall across the site, because normally provacy issues are dealt with by

    (i) keeping first floor windows back from the boundary or preventing them looking towards the boundary or obscuring them

    and

    (ii) having a 2.0M wall between the ground floor windows and your property.

    These measures usually deal with long term privacy adequately, although nothing really mitigates the noise, dust, nuisance and disruption during a building operation.

    ONQ.

    http://www.oneillquigley.eu

    All advice on AAM is remote from the situation and cannot be relied upon as a defence or support - in and of itself - should legal action be taken.
    Competent legal and building professionals should be asked to advise in Real Life with rights to inspect and issue reports on the matters at hand.
     
  3. lizmoody

    lizmoody Guest

    Hi ONQ,

    The extension is along the left hand boundary of neighbouring garden with windows facing our boundary wall (one the right). My kitchen has practically all glass facing my garden and because of an incline in neighbouring garden, the extension windows are interfering with my privacy in my house as well as the garden. We dont have large gardens.

    I know that when planning permission is requested for detached houses, they are not allowed have windows facing a neighbouring house. Does the same apply to city dwelling extensions?

    Thanks,

    Liz
     
  4. TreeTiger

    TreeTiger Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    814
    This leaflet may help http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/DevelopmentandHousing/Planning/FileDownLoad,1586,en.pdf

    There's a bit in section 5 about windows:
    "There are also rules about the required distances between windows in extensions, the facing boundary of the adjoining property and the use of the roof of the
    extension. These are;
    • any windows proposed at ground floor level as part of an extension should not be less than 1 metre from the boundary they face; ..."
     
  5. onq

    onq Former user

    Posts:
    4,380
    Liz,

    This isn't as clear cut as suggested by the legislation when you factor into a rise in the land.

    I had thought what we were talking about here wasn't a permitted development, which involves giving the affected homeowners the chance to object, but an exempted development - isn't that the case?

    If so, in relation to exempted development the provisions of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 are as follows:

    ============================

    CLASS 1

    The extension of a house, by the construction or erection of an extension (including a conservatory) to the rear of the house or by the conversion for use as part of the house of any garage, store, shed or other similar structure attached to the rear or to the side of the house.

    CONDITIONS AND REASONS

    1. (a) Where the house has not been extended previously, the floor area of any such extension shall not exceed 40 square metres.
    (b) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is terraced or semi-detached, the floor area of any extension above ground level shall not exceed 12 square metres.
    (c) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is detached, the floor area of any extension above ground level shall not exceed 20 square metres.
    2. (a) Where the house has been extended previously, the floor area of any such extension, taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions constructed or erected after 1 October 1964, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 40 square metres.
    (b) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is terraced or semi-detached and has been extended previously, the floor area of any extension above ground level taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions above ground level constructed or erected after 1 October 1964, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 12 square metres.
    (c) Subject to paragraph (a), where the house is detached and has been extended previously, the floor area of any extension above ground level, taken together with the floor area of any previous extension or extensions above ground level constructed or erected after 1 October 1964, including those for which planning permission has been obtained, shall not exceed 20 square metres.
    3. Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2 metres from any party boundary.
    4. (a) Where the rear wall of the house does not include a gable, the height of the walls of any such extension shall not exceed the height of the rear wall of the house.
    (b) Where the rear wall of the house includes a gable, the height of the walls of any such extension shall not exceed the height of the side walls of the house.
    (c) The height of the highest part of the roof of any such extension shall not exceed, in the case of a flat roofed extension, the height of the eaves or parapet, as may be appropriate, or, in any other case, shall not exceed the height of the highest part of the roof of the dwelling.
    5. The construction or erection of any such extension to the rear of the house shall not reduce the area of private open space, reserved exclusively for the use of the occupants of the house, to the rear of the house to less than 25 square metres.
    6. (a) Any window proposed at ground level in any such extension shall not be less than 1 metre from the boundary it faces.
    (b) Any window proposed above ground level in any such extension shall not be less than 11 metres from the boundary it faces.
    (c) Where the house is detached and the floor area of the extension above ground level exceeds 12 square metres, any window proposed at above ground level shall not be less than 11 metres from the boundary it faces.
    7. The roof of any extension shall not be used as a balcony or roof garden.

    ============================

    As you can see the term used is "above ground level".

    However the definition of this term in the regulations is misleading

    ============================
    From:

    S. 5 (2) In Schedule 2, unless the context otherwise requires, any reference to the height of a structure, plant or machinery shall be construed as a reference to its height when measured from ground level, and for that purpose “ground level” means the level of the ground immediately adjacent to the structure, plant or machinery or, where the level of the ground where it is situated or is to be situated is not uniform, the level of the lowest part of the ground adjacent to it.

    ============================

    This definition is not applicable to "windows".

    So, is the window on a sloping site "above ground level" or not?

    There is obviously a case to be amde in terms of the degree or perceived overlooking.

    If you feel there is an issue that the local authority can help you resolve - for example defining whether or not a breach of planning law has occurred - then contact the planning Enforcement Section and ask them to attend and inspect.

    I'm sorry I cannot be of more help for now.

    ONQ.

    http://www.oneillquigley.eu

    All advice on AAM is remote from the situation and cannot be relied upon as a defence or support - in and of itself - should legal action be taken.
    Competent legal and building professionals should be asked to advise in Real Life with rights to inspect and issue reports on the matters at hand.
     
  6. Blackmiller

    Blackmiller Guest

    Hi lizmoody

    These types of issues between neighbours can be very fractious so it is best to think it through well as you will have to live beside them after all is said and done. The best thing to do is to start off by communicating with your neighbour, depending on what has gone on so far and how your relationship with them is.

    If the extension is not fully finished, you could propose some changes to the build (how likely that they would?). If it is already fully built it is a bit late for this (and they are very unlikely to make any changes). If you are intent on pursuing it, at this stage your only real option is to make a formal written complaint to the Local Authority.

    If your neighbour has recieved planning permission for the extension and they built in accordance with the permission, then your options narrow significantly. If they recieved planning permission but did not build in accordance with the permission, there may be scope for the Enforcement Section of the Authority to take action. The extension may or may not have required permission, either way there still may be scope for the Enforfcement Section to pursue it.

    Generally, a Local Authority would not take the view that a ground floor build would infringe on the privacy of a neighbouring dwelling, unless as onq said there were localised issues such as a steep incline etc. Also, unless the build was a blatant infringement, Local Authorities are generally slow to enforce changes to a ground floor extension; this is because usually the chances of it actually infringing on privacy are slim and this kind of thing occurs so often.

    A lot depends on the specifics of your site; under what parts of the planning legislation and regulations the build occurred; what was actually built and how you get on with your neighbour. Please post further details if you can.

    PS - what seperates your sites? A wall, trees, a fence? These things are important. Another option is to explore the possibility of making some changes to the party boundary.
     
  7. picorette

    picorette Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    117
    To clarify:
    If there is no planning permission, and the windows are less than one metre from the boundary, then you should speak to your neighbour or contact the Building Control department of your local authority, as this is not allowable.

    If there is no planning permission, and the windows are ground floor and one metre or more from your boundary, then they are allowable under exempted development regulations. You should therefore consider ways to screen your own garden through a fence or wall up to 2 metres high, or alternatively planting (no height restriction).

    If there is planning permission, you should check that it has been constructed as shown in the submitted drawings, and if so, consider ways to screen your own garden as detailed above.
     
  8. lizmoody

    lizmoody Guest

    thanks a million for your reply. I intend to take it up with the enforcement section of Dublin City Council....

    Liz
     
  9. lizmoody

    lizmoody Guest

    There has been no planning permission as I dont think it was necessary for the extension that is being built. I also think that the extension of which the windows face the boundary wall, are more than 1 metre from the boundary. From my kitchen, I can see into the extension and I am certain that my kitchen can be seen from their extension. That is the problem. There is a step down into the garden which means that the boundary wall just needs to be highered about a foot. But it would need about 6 x 1 foot blocks to higher the already 6 ft boundary wall to protect my privacy.

    Thanks a million for the replies, they have really been very helpful. I can now read through the legislation and see what I can do.

    Liz
     
  10. Superman

    Superman Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    595
    Another issue - the 1m reference has to do with fire regulations - i.e. less than 1m from a boundary will generally mean one is not allowed to have windows or other unprotected (by means of fire construction) areas.
    There may therefore be a breach of Fire Regulations - which would be an issue for Building Control.
     
  11. FallingDown

    FallingDown New Member

    Posts:
    1
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
    I wish to give any resident the following advice in regards to neighbors who are constructing extensions which may interfere with their privacy.

    Golden Rule for Neighbors: Never take what your neighbor/builder would say for face value. Consideration for others can be the first casualty when dealing in property and MONEY.

    Property developers/builders strategy is to BUILD FIRST and WAIT FOR OTHERS TO ASK QUESTIONS LATER.

    In spite of what what you read on planning authority websites. Namely, that they take a dim view of properties altered/constructed outside of the planning process. Builders use their Golden Rule: “PLANNING RETENTION” to great advantage.

    Invariably, their property alterations/construction will be brought “in line” with planning MORE EASIER than to submit plans first.

    You might get a few individuals on this site who would argue to the contrary. But this has been my experience. Moreover, I believe this to be more common than one would think.

    If neighbors/builders/developers say they don’t need planning permission, CHECK THIS OUT FIRST with your local planning authority. DO THIS IMMEDIATELY.

    You’ll find below what may happen if you do not check this out immediately.

    A builder purchased the neighboring property and commenced work immediately on gutting the property without planning permission. He removed the entire roof and changed it at the rear. He also removed the chimney stack and changed the location of the front door and size of windows.

    The house was located in a highly dense area of architectural heritage. During the course of his renovations I met him by chance when entering my residence. He came across as a very friendly and affable fellow and gave the following speil:

    He was moving into the house with his partner. He was creating a new dormer window at the “back” of his property. His new dormer window not interfere with my privacy and he didn’t need planning permission for it.

    Being the “good” neighbor, or naïve neighbor. I took the builder at his word and did not check out whether or not what he stated was true in regards to planning permission for windows/developments of such nature.

    It transpired that his speil was ALL UNTRUE and he was letting out the property.

    He was very socially adept and was charming to neighbors in the area including my own relatives. When I confided with my relative about the concerns, my relative would state the builder was a “very nice.”

    Incidentally, the newly constructed dormer window of my builder neighbor was a matter of inches from our boundary wall. Consequently, one could look directly straight into my upper landing area from the confines of his dormer window.

    AGAIN TIMING IS EVERYTHING. I let the builder work away without checking what he stated was true i.e. did he require planning permission.

    I highlighted concerns to the builder. But at this stage the roof had been redesigned to incorporate his new dormer window. I naïvely drew up a sketch so as to come to an agreement. THE BUILDER ALREADY BUILT THE DORMER WINDOW AT THIS STAGE. It was his advantage.

    The builder then disappeared for a considerable number of months. Leaving the dormer window wide open. In that time a contingent of pigeons resided within his property and proceeded to defecate my skylight on a daily basis. Also when it rained, it poured like a waterfall from my neighbor’s dormer door or window onto my skylight. Such was the closeness of his window to my skylight. Bear in mind the high density of the buildings in question. When things couldn’t get any worse, I had an infestation of rats coming from his property site that proceeded to chew through my electrics causing at a considerable amount of damage.

    I began to believe that the property was abandoned and went to the local planning authority.

    I gave a brief outline of the case in question and they stated that my builder neighbor would need planning permission for the alterations in question.

    I duly submitted an enforcement complaint.

    Following on from this, the builder reappeared and proceeded to resume his property renovations with great fervour. Needless to say, matters deteriorated between myself and the neighbor. He began to get quite aggressive and would kick rubbish outside my door, park his building truck directly outside my residence etc. etc. Things got nasty.

    He also proceeded to resume his charm offensive with the other neighbors. They began to be more cooler with me.

    The builder submitted drawings to the planning authority which were entirely inaccurate in regards to the description of the property. I highlighted these inaccuracies with evidence to the enforcement section of the planning authority. Waste of time.

    The builders dormer window was granted planning permission with “conditions”. I appealed to the An Bord Plaeanla as I provided evidence to show that the builders dormer window still interfered with my privacy.

    The builder was granted planning with further “conditions” that the dormer window be reduced in size among other aspects

    The builder Did Not Change the size of dormer window and was granted retention "after inspection.”

    I let you draw your own conclusions from this.

    My conclusion is as follows: The whole planning process stinks to high heaven. It is designed in favor of builders/property developers. Consideration for neighbors privacy, or other concerns, come a very distant second place in favour of wealth generation
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2017
  12. ProDave

    ProDave New Member

    Posts:
    2
    We have hedge