We have just completed an extension to the rear of our house, total floor area 21.8sqm. We used the entire width of the house so in effect, blocked our side entrance entirely from access to the back. So we have built 2 parapet walls on either side of the garden (just up to the party line as agreed to the left of us and well inside the party line on the right hand side as agreed) The parapet wall on the left is 3m (incl capping) and the parapet wall on the right is 2.7m high (incl capping). We built a pitched roof from either side meeting in the middle of the house at the back, 3.7m high. So based on the PL5 guidelines as well as the planning act we have been well within the criteria for exempted development. We also left 38sqm outside personal space in the back of the house. The final part of the extension was to fill in part of the side entrance to meet the back of the house. This is walled to one side where the neighbour agreed to allow us build up the side entrance wall (which was up to our waists) and we built a lean-to with pitched roof in the same style as the rest of the house. We then have an external door from that space out to the front of the side entrance which has been left uncovered for the storage of bins. This side space is 5.1sqm and structurally sound as we also had a structural engineer assess it and certify it. This area has not been floored, has a 6" step from the house into it and will be used as a boiler house/shed for storing kids bikes and a sleeping area for the dog and possibly the washing machine. This space is listed in PL5 section 7&10 as a shed/boiler house and is exempted provided we keep the outside to the same style as the house. This is not seen from the front of the house as the original side entrance gate is there and it's ecntrance is set back into the back part of the house.
So all in all we have kept within the rules. Last week when I was away my neighbour called the council as she was not happy with the side entrance wall, told the inspector that she never gave us permission to build upon it and she was scared that it would fall down so she was adviced to get a structural engineer's certificate (which we arranged and paid for) and the matter has now been reported to the planning authority as unauthorised development as the back part of the extension can be seen from the road although it's in the rear of the house, it's considered the side and is a grey area. When the structural engineer was in with my neighbour, she told him that she was sorry she ever gave permission to us so admitted to him that she had. This same woman has originally given us permission to build the extension on the party line but changed her mind 4 days before the building started. Her reasons were that she liked her fence and her flower bed and didn't want them disrupted. She has since dug up all the plants and replanted new rose bushes and removed half the fencing so it is now to our hips. My husband and I had spoken with her numerous times before the side entrance wall was built on and she was always in agreement, she even invited my husband in to her house to meet with her 2 daughters and son in law where thay all came to the agreement that we would not build the extension on the party line but would build up the side entrance wall.
So we are now waiting for the planning authorities to call out to inspect the extension. We sent them drawings and dimensions etc. so they know what they are coming into but we feel that the problem has been caused by our neighbour denying that she gave us permission.
Does anyone have any experience with this or if her denial has caused this problem in the first place. We have since rendered the entire side entrance wall on her side (including the 5m of wall that wasn't increased) and she seems happy that the engineer gave it a clear bill of health but I doubt she has retracted her complaint to the planning department. Does anyone know how long these investigations usually take. The extension is complete, just needs painting and the kitchen installed into the old part of the house so when it's investigated they'll be looking at a completed build rather than one still in progress.
Thanks in advance for anyone's help, we are very stressed over it as we had done our homework beforehand and sure we were well within the scope required for exempted development.