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25-02-2010, 20:27   #1
Little MoS
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Neighbours planting trees blocking light

Just about to finish building my new home and my neighbours are starting to plant a row of trees that will eventually block our evening sun light and our view. These are troublesome neighbours who only use the field for agricultural purposes and their house isn't anywhere near the trees or our house, we can't even see their house.
Is there anything I can do to stop them what are my rights? If they are approached they wouldn't even listen to us.
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25-02-2010, 21:02   #2
Tom Young
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Yep - Visit a solicitor.
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25-02-2010, 21:24   #3
Little MoS
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Thanks for replying. Have you had previous experience with this problem
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25-02-2010, 21:29   #4
Tom Young
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Personally in relation to my property, no. I have worked on such matters in a professional capacity.

Thus, I think the devil is and will be in the detail(s). Regardless of your view of whether or not the neighbours are acting in a nefarious fashion, they may be acting lawfully.

Best bet - Solicitor.

Tom
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25-02-2010, 21:33   #5
boatbuilder
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I'd approach them first yourself and in a friendly way try to explain why you have a problem with the trees. Then depending on the reponse, take it from there. They'd probably prefer to be talked to first before getting a solicitor's letter which will only make them angry.
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25-02-2010, 23:21   #6
maidhcII
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little MoS View Post
Just about to finish building my new home and my neighbours are starting to plant a row of trees that will eventually block our evening sun light and our view. These are troublesome neighbours who only use the field for agricultural purposes and their house isn't anywhere near the trees or our house, we can't even see their house.
Is there anything I can do to stop them what are my rights? If they are approached they wouldn't even listen to us.
The new Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act has a new kind of district court order which you can get to deal with this (potentially).

You will need a solicitor, but the good news it will be far cheaper than getting an injunction!
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26-02-2010, 14:20   #7
onq
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little MoS View Post
Just about to finish building my new home and my neighbours are starting to plant a row of trees that will eventually block our evening sun light and our view. These are troublesome neighbours who only use the field for agricultural purposes and their house isn't anywhere near the trees or our house, we can't even see their house.
Is there anything I can do to stop them what are my rights? If they are approached they wouldn't even listen to us.
You cannot stop people planting trees, unless for them to do so would interfer with your rights or established rights of members of the public.

Your rights could include rights of drainage outfall, such as a drain passing under land on which the trees are being planted, where it could be argued it is reasonably foreseeable that the roots could affect the drain.

You might try and make a case for ancient lights, but these take a while to develop.
IIRC Rights to Ancient Lights are dealt with under the 1832 prescription act and any rights so acquired may be quite specific and relate to particular windows in particular walls, for example.

One test case for rights to light rested on a Jeweller as I understand it and centred on a quality of light he needed to carry on his trade. Whether this still holds in a era of excellent artificial light is questionable.

In planning terms the issues may centre on whether the neighbours trees interfere with a listed view or prospect, which while unlikely to be centred on your dwelling may preclude him from planting the trees regardless.

Other issue arising is the quantum of light availalbe to your dwelling which used to be tested by establishing X hours of continuous light on a particular day of the year but which I think may have been overtaken by the de facto use of another BER or other standard.

There may be other routes to a case of which I am unaware.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am architecturally, not legally trained, but some of these issues arise during the course of my professional work.

ONQ.

Last edited by onq; 26-02-2010 at 14:22.
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