Peace Threatened by Neighbours’ Building Plans? See a Lawyer Today!

If others’ building proposals threaten to harm your enjoyment of your home, you should not delay in consulting a solicitor. In a case on point, a householder did just that and successfully blocked her neighbour’s plans for a roof terrace.

The woman objected after her next-door neighbour proposed construction of a roof terrace on top of a garage that was sandwiched between their two properties, both of which were locally listed as heritage assets. She raised particular concerns that noise generated by the terrace’s use would disturb her peace.

The local authority nevertheless granted planning permission for the terrace on the basis of a planning officer’s report. He noted that the woman’s windows would not directly overlook the terrace and found that the development would not give rise to unacceptable noise levels. After the woman contacted solicitors, they launched a judicial review challenge to that decision on her behalf.

The High Court found that the officer’s generally thorough report had properly dealt with the issue of airborne noise. However, it did not address the woman’s objection that the terrace would be attached to her flank wall and that its use would transmit significant acoustic vibrations into her home.

The issue of structural noise disturbance had been raised by the woman’s planning consultants prior to the grant of permission for the development and was a relevant consideration that should have been taken into account. The woman’s challenge was upheld and the planning permission quashed.