Extension being built over boundary fence... HELP!

4 Sep 2014
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United Kingdom
Hi, I would be very grateful for some advice regarding our neighbours extension which is currently being built. When we first bought our property 5 years ago our neighbours advised us of their intention to build an extension. No problem we thought, plans showed it to be a single storey, 4m in length extension which ran parallel with the boundary fence. However, they started the build around a month ago (they put in foundations a couple of years ago, incorrectly at first I might add, to say the build had 'started') and prior to the build they advised that they would be stepping the extension inwards for fear it would encroach on our land... very nice of them too. However, what they failed to explain is that they intended to take advantage of the new permitted development rules and build it 8m long (inc. flat roofed sun house bit, it may actually be over 8m). Prior to building (and still in the dark) in readiness for their build, we agreed to remove established plants to allow them access, helped remove the boundary fence in part, cut back bushes etc. to be as accommodating as possible. Needless to say plants got damaged (trampled / killed) , their builder did not stick to agreed access etc. Still we did not fall out with them as in the grand scheme of the universe this is trivial. However, now the 6m boundary wall has gone up with roof (not including sun house yet to be built) and the end corner (facia + soffit) is hanging above the boundary fence post with the guttering yet to be attached. I've tried to sort it out amicably tonight but he says he likes it... To be honest it looks like it's sticking out into our garden and the boundary fence is on the slant a bit (if you know what I mean) and it's awful. If we can't come to some agreement tomorrow then I need to get serious as I think I've been pretty cool up until now but I'm not going to be mugged off. What would you guys advise? Getting local planning advisor, building regs, right to light survey done? Should they have served a party wall notice (yes, I know it's a fence!) Should new plans have been drawn for us to see (although it looks like they're making it up as they go along!) I hate to go down this route but after all we've done to help them initially it is now apparent that we have been lied to and used because of our good nature. Shouldn't the builder have taken into consideration the guttering when building up to the boundary...?? I would GREATLY appreciate your advise as I've not had to do anything like this before and I'm losing sleep. If you need any more details please let me know and THANK YOU. Kind regards, Simondo
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They can build to the boundary but not over it and that includes gutters and any other overhangs. If they are over the boundary you need to act quickly. I would write and tell them the offending overhang is trespassing on your land and must be corrected. If not you will pursue damages. Give them 7 days to respond. If they do not, get a solicitor to write.

To build an 8m extension they should have given the planning department prior notice and the planning department should have informed you and given you the opportunity to comment. It may be worth checking that they followed that procedure and that the extension being built is the same as that submitted as prior notice.

They probably should have served a party wall notice but that is irrelevant now as the foundation is in and the act cannot be invoked retrospectively. So don't waste your time on it unless you suffer some damages as a result of their excavation.

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