New Rear Extension Application - Objection from Neighbour Re. Ventilation Openings on his extension

21 May 2016
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United Kingdom
We have submitted plans to build a new rear 4 metre extension to our mid-terrace house that is being opposed by our neighbour.

The neighbour already has a 20 year old 4 metre rear extension built 300mm (12 inches) inside his property boundary. He has two ventilation openings (airbricks) on each end of this extension and four ventilation openings at the front.

Our original plan was to build the new extension up to our boundary, but on the neighbours objections we agreed to move the side wall on his side of the build 150mm (6 inches) inside our boundary. This will provide a spacing between the side walls of each extension of 450mm (18 inches).

However he is still objecting because he says there is not enough space between the two walls for ventilation of his suspended timber floor and for general maintenance. He has instructed a surveyor to inspect the plans and the surveyor is insisting that our new extension be built 300mm (12 inches) inside our boundary, providing a space between the side walls of each extension of 600mm (24 inches).

Internal constraints of our new planned extension means that we are unable to adhere to this request and we are at an impasse with our neighbour over this. We want to be good neighbours but feel the objections are unfounded.

I cannot find in the Building Regs any reference to the external clearances required for ventilation openings or the requirements for maintenance of existing buildings on neighbouring land.

My questions are:

1. Is there a minimum distance that a new build wall must be from the ventilation openings on an existing wall in the Building Regs?
2. Is there a minimum distance that a wall must be from the ventilation openings on an existing wall without adversely affecting the airflow under a suspended timber floor?
3. Is there any planning restriction to prevent us building up to our boundary, even if it means our neighbour is unable to maintain his property and the new build may affect the air flow under his suspended floor?

Thanks in advance.
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Have you spoken with the planning officer about it or has your agent? It's an invalid objection and should not be considered.
The neighbour has no right to insist that you set the wall back from the boundary; the fact that there are sub-floor ventilation openings is neither here nor there.
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Neighbours can't object to planning applications. They can only comment.

There is no right to ventilation.

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