Changes to development rules for homeowners may end up causing greater heartache and neighbourly dispute than the existing regime, and not just to those people who object to any and all development that the newly-appointed Planning Minister Nick Boles called “hysterical, scare-mongering latter day Luddites” earlier in the year.

Under a temporary relaxation of planning permission rules to be brought in next month there will be a window of opportunity for homeowners to build bigger extensions and conservatories without the need for formal planning permission so long as they fall within defined parameters.  This is intended to be a boost for the building industry, but is also likely to result in more real estate litigation.

The new development rights may do away with the need for certain planning permission applications, but homeowners are not exempted from local building regulations (especially in conservation areas or for listed buildings) and they do not alter your neighbours’ right to light, neither do they get around party wall issues or rights of way and other easements like drainage.

The temporary status of the planning permission relaxation should mean there will be a rush of building work over the next few years.  In all likelihood lawyers will be kept equally busy sorting out legal disputes arising from the new regime for both those extending their properties and their neighbours.

If you need advice on building disputes then do contact us here at Griffin Law.