It is a neighbour’s right to object to an extension if they have a valid reason. Such reasons could include:

  • the work is likely to take weeks meaning weeks of noise and destructive building
  • the extension will cause a loss of light or view to neighbours
  • the extension will cause a loss of privacy e.g. a window overlooking a neighbour’s property
  • the extension could result in a reduction of the value of neighbours’ properties

In the case of extensions that require planning permission, the persons building the extension will have been required to submit detailed plans to their relevant local authority. This local authority will then contact all affected neighbours and allow them to voice their complaints, if any.

Neighbours can voice their complaints by writing to or emailing the planning department of the relevant local authority. Formal complaints may carry more weight if there are several from different neighbours. It is important to note that petitions are unlikely to have the same effect as formal letters.

The persons building the extension will have the opportunity to appeal their neighbours’ complaints and/or alter their proposal. This means it is unlikely that complaints from neighbours will stop an extension completely. Complaints could, however, delay the process and/or change the nature of the extension.

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