Q. I have just completed on my brand new house a month ago and beginning to settle in, but to my dismay have received a planning application from my local council for the house next door! As far as I can understand they are planning to build an extension on both the rear and the side of their house, this will be adjacent to my side of the house. They also plan on fitting three dormer windows too! As you can imagine, I am mortified by this news having just moved into a brand new house, I was not expecting to have substantial building work going on next door as soon as I move in. And of course I am extremely concerned about the impact this extension is going to have on the value of my own property as I’m pretty sure my natural light is going to be affected. Being new to the property world I’m not sure what I can do about any of this, can I object? And if so how do I go about this, what advise can you give me?

A. Dreadful timing for you obviously and I’m sure it’s the last thing you imagined happening when you completed on your new home. The letter that you’ve received from your local council should give you most of the information that you need about the planned building work. By law, the planning office has to notify everyone in the immediate vicinity of the proposed building application to give you an opportunity to comment on the proposed plans. They will usually give you a website address where you can gain access and view all the plans on line, there you can see exactly what the proposal is in full. They should also give you the opportunity to visit the planning office, to discuss the plans in person with one of the planning officers in your borough that’s dealing with the application. An opportunity to comment or object to the plans are given to everyone within the vicinity that may be affected by the proposal. If you are unsure about anything on the plans or how it might affect you then it may be worth approaching a property professional. Your estate agent or surveyor would be able to help you with reading the plans and advising on just how this application may affect you or not. Take note of the deadline on the application to make a comment or objection though, as the planning office will only consider comments submitted prior to the deadline stated.