Neighbour's new extension too close for comfort! - what (if anything) can I do?

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    Neighbour's new extension too close for comfort! - what (if anything) can I do?

    I co-own a detached period property in Islington with my siblings, that used to belong to my mother. The house is one of a row of identical detached houses. The houses all sit on the left of their plots, so that the left-side flank wall, is on the boundary with the neighbour (i.e. the space to the left of our property is owned by our neighbour, just as the space to the right belongs to us). After half a century of harmony with the neighbours, the new purchasers have just built an extension on the side of their house next to ours. They have already extended at the rear (about which I have no objection) but the side extension is just one foot away from our house. I wanted to re-point that brickwork, but it's now inaccessible. When I built a wooden shed at the end of my garden not so long ago, I was told I must leave 1 meter distance to the neighbour's garden wall, even though it made no difference. But here we are talking about a permanent structure, right next to our house, which will make it almost impossible to maintain the brickwork for our property. Is there anything we can do? Or is this unfair outcome permitted by permitted development?

    #2
    The two sections of Part 1 Class A will apply to the extension, which would mean that if those conditions have been complied with then it would be a lawful extension despite being very close to your house.

    I would have wondered how such an extension was built so close, unless the builders were able to access the external wall closest to your house to dig the foundations and to finish off the external appearance of the wall nearest to your house?

    (i) the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse would be within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse, and the height of the eaves of the enlarged part would exceed 3 metres;

    (j) the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse would extend beyond a wall forming a side
    elevation of the original dwellinghouse, and would—
    (i) exceed 4 metres in height,
    (ii) have more than a single storey, or
    (iii) have a width greater than half the width of the original dwellinghouse

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      #3
      Thanks for the reply. Yes, that's a good point. As the gap is so narrow, it's hard to see how they did it! The whole thing was shrouded in sheeting and tarpaulins, so that it was finished before we could see what they were up to. The extension however is more of an outhouse structure built with engineering blocks. Maybe outer finish was less important to our neighbour, as compared with our house which is built from aging Victorian bricks which need more maintenance and pointing. I had been told, that extensions should not be be closer than 1 meter from my neighbour. Sadly for me, I think you're saying permitted development contains no such rule, even though it seems to allow building so close that neither I or (as you point out!) the neighbour will be able to maintain their walls! Seems crazy.

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