After you apply for planning permission: step-by-step guide

3. Step 2 - Letters are sent to neighbours most likely to be affected by the application

The Council will tell your neighbours about any application you make and it is therefore wise, as well as courteous, to tell them what you plan to do. If you have not already told them, it may be best that they hear from you first!

Neighbours may express support or objection in writing or email to any planning application and their views are taken into consideration when the application is assessed.

If your proposal would overshadow a window that has been there for 20 years or more you may affect your neighbour's 'right to light' and they could take legal action against you.

This is a private matter that will not be dealt with by the Council, and it is best to take legal advice if you think this is a possibility.

If your proposal encroaches onto neighbouring land (for example, by the eaves or guttering overhanging a boundary) you may not be able to proceed without your neighbour's agreement, even if you have planning permission.

Similarly, you will need your neighbour's consent if your builder will need to enter their land at any stage.

If you intend to carry out building work which involves

  • work on an existing wall shared with another property
  • building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
  • excavating near an adjoining building

The Party Wall Act 1996 ( may be relevant.

If there is any doubt about where the boundary lies between your land and your neighbour's you should try to find out as soon as possible.

The deeds to your property may help. An amicable common-sense agreement with your neighbour is always best. The Council cannot give a ruling on ownership and therefore will not intervene in this private matter.