Question:

I’m building a Single Storey Rear Extension, therefore, what is ‘Right To Light’ & do I need to tell my neighbours about the work?

Answer:

As a rule of thumb, there is a 60 to 65 Degree angle right to light for Single Storey Extension & this usually starts at the middle of your neighbours’ window & for Double Storey Extension it’s usually 45 Degrees right to light, again this usually starts at the middle of your neighbours’ window. In most circumstances it’s a good idea to let your neighbours know about work you intend to carry out to your property. They are likely to be as concerned about work which might affect them as you would be about changes which might affect your enjoyment of your own property. For example, your building work could take away some of their light or spoil a view from their windows. If the work you carry out seriously overshadows a neighbour’s window and that window has been there for 20 years or more, you may be affecting his or her “right to light” and you could be open to legal action. It is best to consult a lawyer if you think you need advice about this as the Right to Light is protected under common law, adverse possession and in England and Wales by the Prescription Act 1832. You may be able to meet some of your neighbour’s worries by modifying your proposals. Even if you decide not to change what you want to do, it is usually better to have told your neighbours what you are proposing before you apply for planning permission or before building work starts. If you do need to make a planning application for the work you want to carry out, the council will ask your neighbours for their views under Prior Notification (See Our Other Blogs).

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