The balance between one person’s residential amenity and that of a neighbour can sometimes be a fine one, as our clients found out when a neighbour applied for planning permission for an extension which would overlook their property. Our clients appreciated the neighbour’s reasons for wanting the proposed extension but were concerned that it would come at the cost of her own privacy, which she was keen to protect. We were approached for advice on the best way to make our clients’ concerns about the proposed extension known to the Council and to achieve an outcome that ensured their privacy remained protected while also respecting their neighbour’s aspirations.
After considering this case in detail, we agreed to draft an objection to the application on our clients’ behalf, placing their concerns about privacy in a planning context by setting out the reasons why granting the application as submitted would be contrary to relevant planning policies. At the same time, however, we proposed amendments to the application that would address our clients’ concerns without stopping the proposed extension from going ahead. The neighbour’s application was subsequently amended to reflect our suggested changes, and that application then approved, a decision that improved the planning outcome for both our clients and their neighbours and ensured acceptable levels of residential amenity for all parties.