Neighbour’s planned extension or nearby development going to affect your natural light?

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We can quickly establish whether you have strong grounds to object to a planning application.

This could be on the basis of loss of daylight and/or sunlight to windows, or overshadowing to a garden or amenity area. Our surveyors will begin with an initial desktop review of aerial photography and the development proposals.  If we consider the case worth pursuing, we can offer the services set out below.

Note: If the applicant has not submitted a daylight and sunlight report, we recommend asking the local authority to ask the applicant to do so.  The report should be produced in accordance with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) guide ‘Site Layout Planning for Daylight and Sunlight 2022, 3rd Edition’.

Planning Objection Letter

We can draft an objection letter for you for submission to the local authority.  The content of the objection letter will depend on whether the applicant has submitted a Daylight and Sunlight Report produced in accordance with the Building Research Establishment (BRE) guide.

Where the applicant has submitted this report, our objection letter will focus on the interpretation of the test results.  This is crucial as the numerical data must be applied correctly based on the specifics of the site and its context.  We also review the daylight and sunlight data in the assessment to identify any obvious anomalies or inaccuracies. 

If the applicant has not submitted a daylight and sunlight report, we will ourselves apply two tests from the BRE Guide: The preliminary 25 and 45 degree tests.  Where the development proposal fails either test, this indicates that daylight and sunlight may be affected and the further detailed tests contained in the BRE guide should be applied.

If the applicant has failed to submit a daylight and sunlight assessment, we will highlight any daylight and sunlight concerns with the aim of getting the local authority to defer a planning decision pending the submission of an assessment by the applicant.  Alternatively, we can undertake an independent assessment on your behalf.  

Full Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing Analysis

In order to substantiate your objection, it is often helpful to apply and present results of the BRE’s detailed tests.  

Typically we would expect the applicant to undertake the assessments.  However, we are sometimes asked to undertake the assessments on behalf of affected neighbours, including where:

  1. The applicant has undertaken an assessment and you have concerns about its accuracy.
  2. The applicant has failed to undertake any assessment at all.
  3. You have instructed us to undertake separate legal rights of light calculations. In this situation, we can make use of the computer modelling work to apply the detailed planning tests too.

A full daylight, sunlight and overshadowing assessment will usually involve visiting your property to conduct a measured survey of the relevant rooms, windows and outdoor areas. This will be undertaken using a Leica 3D point cloud scanner, as this provides greater accuracy than using tape measures or digital equivalents.

We will then produce a 3D computer model using the applicant’s architectural drawings and our survey of your property undertaken with the 3D point cloud scanner.  We can then use the computer model to apply the detailed BRE tests.  Where applicable, we will apply the following tests:

  • Vertical sky component
  • Daylight distribution
  • Annual probable sunlight hours
  • Overshadowing to gardens and open spaces

Finally, we will present the results and our findings in writing to the local authority, highlighting any particular areas of concern.

Full Daylight, Sunlight and Overshadowing Analysis

Please note that there is often insufficient time to undertake detailed testing within the consultation period.  Therefore, it may be necessary to submit the calculations after the consultation period has closed.  In this situation, we will submit an objection letter during the consultation period, and this will highlight that the calculations are in progress.  The local authority may run the risk of having the decision overturned through a judicial review if they fail to consider daylight and sunlight matters properly.  Therefore, local authorities will generally consider any information submitted right up to the point of the decision being made.

Rights of Light

Please note, even if planning permission has been granted, your property might still be protected if it has a separate legal right of light.

Related Services

Rights of Light >

Compensation Valuation

Compensation Valuation >

Resources for Neighbours

This fact sheet uses simple diagrams to help explain the correct application of the 25 degree and 45 degree rule of thumb planning tests. Read >>

If your light is affected by a development, there are two main avenues you can pursue: Planning and Legal Rights of Light.

Read >>

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