Can My Neighbour Stop My Extension?

When it comes to planning a home extension, your neighbours can get involved in two ways. The first is planning permission. Your local council will offer your neighbours with an opportunity to comment on your application. The second is party wall. You might need to notify your neighbours with party wall notice(s). They can respond to these notice(s) in a number of ways. 

Party Wall

Home extension companies in London should be familiar with the Party Wall Act and what is involved in fulfilling the necessary criteria. When undertaking a home extension in London, you will very likely that need to notify your adjoining owners of your intention to build. Who you need to notify is dependent on the scope of works you are undertaking. If you are in a terraced house and undertaking a ground floor rear extension, you will need to notify both adjoining owners either side. 

In answer to the question – can my neighbour stop me building my extension? The answer is no, they cannot. They can request additional details which (1) makes things more expensive for you and (2) takes additional time. They cannot stop you from building. 

The Party Wall Act aims to protect your neighbouring properties, to ensure they are not adversely affected by your building work. We thought we would run through the Party Wall process in a bit more detail, as well as the different options that your neighbours can select, and the associated costs to you. 

When do I serve Notice? 

Party Wall documentation is valid for one year – so we recommend having a build start date in mind before commencing with the notice(s). If you want to build quickly, we recommend running the process alongside planning. Planning permission takes 8 weeks so you can run the two processes alongside one another. You shouldn’t make a start on Party Wall until you have reached a final design. The types of Notice(s) that need to be served to your notifiable neighbours will depend on the scope of works you are looking to undertake. Changing the scope of works might require an additional type of Notice to be served, so you want to be sure you’re including all relevant Notice(s) from the outset.  

Serving Notice

Once you are ready to serve Notice, you can contact a party wall surveyor. If you send them your drawings (existing and proposed), they will be able to tell you who you need to serve Notice to and what types of Notice(s) need to be served. They can then prepare the Notice(s) on your behalf and send them to your neighbours. 

Once you are ready to serve Notice, you can contact a party wall surveyor. If you send them your drawings (existing and proposed), they will be able to tell you who you need to serve Notice to and what types of Notice(s) need to be served. They can then prepare the Notice(s) on your behalf and send them to your neighbours. 

Here at Home Tales, we have a recommended surveyor who can take care of Party Wall matters for you. If you use them, they serve all relevant Notice(s) for our clients free of charge. 

The Notice(s) notify your notifiable neighbours of your intention to build. The Notice(s) will list 4 options and they will need to select one these options. The options are as follows:

  1. Consent with no further action. In this case there is no additional cost to you and you will only pay for the cost of the Notice(s). If you are our client and you use our recommended surveyor then you won’t pay a penny! As the notice(s) are free. 
  • Consent subject to a schedule of conditions. The schedule of conditions is undertaken by your party wall surveyor. They visit your property and your neighbour’s property and take pictures and notes with regards to the state of the party wall. They then document this which is the schedule of conditions. As the wall has been surveyed, it’s clear if any cracks or issues occur, it is as a result of the building works. 
  • Dissent and agree to use your surveyor. In this case, a full award is required. This is a more detailed version of the schedule of condition and as a result, it’s costed slightly higher because it’s more thorough and requires additional time on-site. 
  • Dissent and request their own surveyor. In this case, you are liable for the fees of their desired surveyor. You also need your own surveyor to act in your interest, so you pay for own surveyor and your neighbours’ surveyor. 

What are the costs of these services?

Typical surveyors in London will charge £100 – £350 per adjoining owner to serve Notice, £500 – £600 for a Schedule of Condition, and £700 – £1200 for a full award. 

Planning Permission 

When it comes to planning permission, your neighbours are notified of the proposed plans and offered with an opportunity to make comments on the application. This can be in support for the development or against the development. Just because they object does not mean it will be rejected. Likewise, if your neighbour supports the application, it doesn’t mean the proposal will be accepted. The case officer will review the comments and take them into consideration, but they don’t sway the entire decision of the application. 

If you are thinking of extending and want to understand more about how your neighbours can affect your design and build, contact our team today on 0207 043 2378. We would be delighted to discuss your project in further detail and advise further. You can also book a telephone consultation via our online booking page here.  


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