Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby justme » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:46 pm

Hello,

A developer has applied for permission to demolish an existing commercial/residential two-storey building, approx 7m from our shared boundary and 10m from our bungalow. The 7m is currently a small side garden. The 3m to our bungalow is our driveway. The developer intends to build a new, taller two-storey commercial/residential building right up to the boundary, i.e. 3m from our gable wall. This new building would be 10m to the ridge, with a plain roof gable. (Our bungalow has a hipped roof). We have two rooms with windows on this gable side - 1 bedroom and 1 bedroom/office. I naturally objected to the application. The PA asked for further information on a number of issues, but didn't mention the proximity of such a large building to our bungalow. Does this mean that the planner doesn't see it as a problem?

There has never been a building in this garden area and, although the proposed building would be to the north of us and wouldn't overshadow us as such, it obviously would remove a substantial amount of natural light - probably not much less than if we blocked up the windows completely! In your opinions, do we have a case for a 'right of light', should permission be granted?

All comments welcome. If you need any more info, please ask.
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby missarchi » Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:41 pm

Maybe pay to get some shadow/overlooking studies done...

Small projects like this are often very complicated...
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby spoil_sport » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:05 pm

There is still 3m between? That is still reasonably generous, if it is to the norh of you, then the new wall is south facing? In that case, if the new wall is a smooth white render, it might even increase the amount of reflected light into your north facing windows?
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby damproof » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:42 am

missarchi wrote:Maybe pay to get some shadow/overlooking studies done...



I wouldn't bother going to that expense - sounds to me like the planner has looked at the distance between your dwelling and the proposed development and figured that its going to have an acceptable impact - no amount of third party surveys are going to change that at this point. If you don't like the decision of the PA then appeal it to An Bord Pleanala and if that doesn't work then suck it up and get on with things. You could always try to include spoil_sport's suggestion of a smooth white render on a supplementary submission
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby publicrealm » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:51 am

justme wrote:Hello,

There has never been a building in this garden area and, although the proposed building would be to the north of us and wouldn't overshadow us as such, it obviously would remove a substantial amount of natural light - probably not much less than if we blocked up the windows completely! In your opinions, do we have a case for a 'right of light', should permission be granted?

All comments welcome. If you need any more info, please ask.


Right to light is a legal issue (rights acquired after 20 years of continuous light) - not a planning issue.

However, daylight is a planning issue - insofar as Planning Authorities tend to abide by the so called Littlefair Guidelines. These set out recommendations for day-lighting (and sunlighting - sunlight is not an issue with a north facing facade) and it is likely that the scenario you propose would diminish the daylight to the two windows. This is dependant on the width of the obstruction as well as its height and if I were you I would ask the Planning Authority (or the Board) to seek a daylight analysis from the applicant which addresses your windows. Be aware that bedroom windows are not considered as sensitive as living room/dining/kitchens - but are considered.
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby corkblow-in » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:15 am

I'd agree with spoil sport - I don't think you have much of a case due to the fact that its to the north and there is a relatively generous 3m. Do not waste money on daylighting studies / reports etc.

One route you could take is how they propose to maintain the gable if its right up against your boundary - are they expecting you to provide a right of way? Also if its up against the boundary is the gable ladder overhanging your property?

Will probably not get the building refused, but could be pushed 1.0 - 1.5 m further from your house.

Good luck.
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby tungstentee » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:47 am

doing a cursory check (25 degree rule) daylighting to your rooms would be affected
further and more detailed tests woulld need to be done (as in the littlefair doc mentioned previously)
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby henno » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:28 pm

tungstentee wrote:doing a cursory check (25 degree rule) daylighting to your rooms would be affected
further and more detailed tests woulld need to be done (as in the littlefair doc mentioned previously)



45 degree??
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby tungstentee » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:19 pm

nope, not that
approx 1.5m above ground on the window plane of the bungalow in question subtend a 25 degree angle
if the building obstructs this...daylight likely to be affected
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Re: Bungalows, Boundaries and Rights of Light

Postby justme » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:31 pm

Thanks to everyone for the comments so far.

spoil_sport wrote:There is still 3m between? That is still reasonably generous, if it is to the norh of you, then the new wall is south facing? In that case, if the new wall is a smooth white render, it might even increase the amount of reflected light into your north facing windows?


I'd say "generous" wasn't the first word that came into my mind when I saw the plans! ;)

I'd obviously much prefer natural light to artificial/reflective light. At the moment, my desk faces out of the gable window, with plenty of light and a good view of some trees and the sky. The proposed structure would just give me a blank wall. Even a white rendered wall could never increase the amount of light when daylight is being replaced, and walls that start out brilliant white often don't stay like that for long.

damproof wrote:I wouldn't bother going to that expense - sounds to me like the planner has looked at the distance between your dwelling and the proposed development and figured that its going to have an acceptable impact - no amount of third party surveys are going to change that at this point. If you don't like the decision of the PA then appeal it to An Bord Pleanala and if that doesn't work then suck it up and get on with things. You could always try to include spoil_sport's suggestion of a smooth white render on a supplementary submission


I'll definitely go to ABP if the PA grants permission, but I certainly wouldn't just "suck it up" if ABP granted permission as well. The right to light is an ancient one worth fighting for.

publicrealm wrote:Right to light is a legal issue (rights acquired after 20 years of continuous light) - not a planning issue.

However, daylight is a planning issue - insofar as Planning Authorities tend to abide by the so called Littlefair Guidelines. These set out recommendations for day-lighting (and sunlighting - sunlight is not an issue with a north facing facade) and it is likely that the scenario you propose would diminish the daylight to the two windows. This is dependant on the width of the obstruction as well as its height and if I were you I would ask the Planning Authority (or the Board) to seek a daylight analysis from the applicant which addresses your windows. Be aware that bedroom windows are not considered as sensitive as living room/dining/kitchens - but are considered.


We've had far more than 20 years of continuous light, so I think we've got a good case should it go that far. Like I say, the PA have already asked for further information without mentioning us, so I'd guess they're not interested in our daylight. I did mention it in my objection, but to no avail :( Hopefully ABP will be more understanding if it goes that far. Would they take into account the fact that I use the guest bedroom as an office?

corkblow-in wrote:I'd agree with spoil sport - I don't think you have much of a case due to the fact that its to the north and there is a relatively generous 3m. Do not waste money on daylighting studies / reports etc.

One route you could take is how they propose to maintain the gable if its right up against your boundary - are they expecting you to provide a right of way? Also if its up against the boundary is the gable ladder overhanging your property?

Will probably not get the building refused, but could be pushed 1.0 - 1.5 m further from your house.

Good luck.


If they're expecting a right of way, they'll have a long wait :D

They haven't mentioned anything about how they intend to maintain the wall. They never bothered discussing anything with me, so there's no way I'll be doing them any favours! From the plans, it appears that they want to remove the existing block wall and have their gable as the new boundary. Whether they can remove what's probably a party wall is another legal issue I guess. The plans also seem to indicate a roof flush with the gable, so no overhang. Obviously we wouldn't permit such anyway.

tungstentee wrote:doing a cursory check (25 degree rule) daylighting to your rooms would be affected
further and more detailed tests woulld need to be done (as in the littlefair doc mentioned previously)


Thanks for taking the time to do that tungstentee. Hopefully the PA or ABP will do some cursory checks of their own before granting any permission!

If anyone has any more comments, they're still welcome.
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