fbpx

Do You Object to a Neighbour's Development Plans? Consult a Solicitor

4th March 2022 By

If a neighbour has been granted planning permission for a development to which you object, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing more you can do about it. As one case showed, however, with the benefit of expert legal advice that is by no means always so.

The case concerned a residential close, built in the 1980s, consisting of four homes. They were positioned closely together with a green space between them and an access road. A couple who owned one of the homes obtained planning permission to reposition their driveway and attach a new double garage to their property, which would encroach into the green space.

Standing in their way, however, were a number of restrictive covenants contained in the property’s title deeds. Crucially, one of them required that the green space be maintained solely as ornamental gardens, crossed by private driveways leading to each of the homes, and that no trailer, mobile home, caravan or boat should be kept or parked thereon.

The couple applied to the Upper Tribunal (UT) under the Law of Property Act 1925 to modify the covenant so as to enable the development to proceed. However, they encountered stiff opposition from two sets of neighbours who wished to retain the ornamental garden at the centre of the close. They argued, amongst other things, that the development would have a profound visual impact and change the close’s whole character and ambience.

Rejecting the owners’ application, the UT noted that the covenant served the mutual benefit of all homeowners in the close. It conferred on them collective control over the way in which the green space was used in order to preserve its visual amenity. The proposed new garage would, for the first time, alter the visual integrity of the close as it was originally designed.

The covenant provided certainty to the close’s residents and to prospective buyers of their homes, the value of which would be affected by the development. Authorising its modification could be the thin end of the wedge, enabling further encroachments into the green space. It brought practical benefits of substantial advantage to homeowners in the close and its modification would be injurious to the couple’s neighbours, who were entitled to those benefits.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Award That Requires Borrowing Made Into Court Order

17th May, 2024 By

Disagreements between separating couples all too often result in litigation that substantially reduces the assets available to them, as was illustrated by a case that recently reached the High Court. At issue was whether awards made by arbitrators in financial remedy proceedings can be made into court orders even if that would require one of the parties to borrow money. The couple had previously had a relationship lasting a few years before resuming their relationship in 2015. They had two children before separating again in 2019. Following their separation, the...

Inheritance Disputes – Costs Risks Can Be Reduced

15th May, 2024 By

Arguments about what someone promised before their death can lead to significant legal costs. However, if faced with a claim against the estate, there may be steps the beneficiaries or executors can take to reduce the risks, as a recent High Court case illustrated. A man had left a farmhouse and agricultural land in Cornwall to his wife, with whom he had also jointly owned a neighbouring area of land. After his death, one of the couple's daughters and her husband claimed that he had told them he wanted them...

Share Rounding Error Does Not Prevent CGT Relief

13th May, 2024 By

There are often very specific rules that must be complied with in order to claim tax reliefs, but if a small mistake arises, the courts may be able to provide assistance. In a recent case, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) found that an investor was entitled to Entrepreneurs' Relief on the disposal of his shares in a company, despite owning one share fewer than he needed to qualify for it. The investor had agreed to purchase 5 per cent of the shares in the company for £500,000. He wished to own...

Wife Entitled to Maintenance Until Sale of Family Home

10th May, 2024 By

When divorcing couples disagree on how assets should be divided, the courts will seek to arrive at a fair outcome for both parties. In deciding how the proceeds of sale of a former couple's home should be apportioned, the Family Court agreed with the wife that she should receive maintenance payments until the sale took place. The couple had married in 2006. Following a brief separation, they had reconciled for two years before finally separating in 2022. The husband and wife both contended that they should be entitled to about...