What is The Party Wall Act?
In addition to building regulations, you also need to know about the Party Wall Act 1996. The act is mainly to avoid disputes between neighbours and to help find resolve between two parties.
Under the Act, you're required to give notice to a neighbour in the following situations:
- If you're building or excavating on, or near to the boundary of a neighbour
- If you're working on a wall that separates your property from your neighbours
You do need to adhere to the Act separate to planning permission and building regulations. We recommend reading about the Party Wall Act here.
What is the neighbour consultation scheme?
In May 2019, the government made permanent the temporary rules for the size of extension that you can build under permitted rights.
If building a single-storey extension of more than four metres up to eight metres from the back of your house (for a detached house, six metres for semi-detached) you have a duty to inform your neighbour. Known as the neighbour consultation scheme.
Halfway between permitted rights and planning permission, the neighbour consultation scheme is a way to keep control of the bigger developments and avoid neighbour disputes.
Instead of speaking to your neighbour directly, you must contact the local planning office and they consult with your neighbours about your development. If your neighbour objects with a fair reason, the planning office can stop your permitted development.
Note, this is only for large extensions over four metres and you can still build up to four metres without having to go through this process.
If you're thinking of adding roof lights or adding new windows to your extension read about when you need planning permission and building regulations for windows here.